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March 23, 2012 01:07 PM

Friday Afternoon Business Brief

Stocks have retreated in the first hour of
trading.
There has been a pattern of mixed trading seen this week.
     

The Commerce Department says new home sales
fell in February, the third straight monthly decline. The 1.6
percent drop came as the median sales price surged more than 8
percent to the highest since June.
     

President Barack Obama has announced he'll
nominate Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim to head the World
Bank. The Korean-born Kim is a physician by training and a
prominent figure in global health and development circles. The move
comes amid concerns that developing countries are tired of the U.S.
stranglehold on the World Bank presidency.
     

A bill that Republican leaders were promoting
as the centerpiece of their job-creation agenda has instead turned
into one of their biggest headaches. That's thanks largely to tea
party conservatives who want to get the federal government out of
transportation programs and hand them over to the states. The House
and Senate are heading toward a showdown next week that could
result in a cutoff of federal highway and transit aid to states
just as the spring construction season starts.
     

Air Canada canceled more than two dozen flights
to Canadian and U.S. destinations today as a wildcat strike by its
ground workers threatened to create travel chaos at Pearson
International Airport in Toronto. At least 50 Air Canada flights
and some from other airlines were delayed after ground workers
walked off the job Thursday evening and left hundreds of passengers
in limbo.
    

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