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March 05, 2012 01:27 PM

Monday Afternoon Business Brief

Global growth worries are putting a damper on Wall Street. The key averages have declined less than 1 percent after China lowered its target rate for annual growth to 7.5 percent.

• February saw rising activity for the nation's service companies. The Institute for Supply Management says its index for non-manufacturing activity rose to 57.3, marking the third straight increase.

• The government's new consumer protection agency has started accepting complaints from people who borrowed from private companies to finance their educations. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says it expects complaints about billing, confusing advertising and debt collection by private student lenders. The agency will work with the Department of Education, which oversees federal student loans such as Stafford and PLUS loans.

• Federal regulators have rejected Merck's new combination cholesterol drug, which includes a generic version of the mega-blockbuster Lipitor - at least for now. It's unclear how long the ruling might delay approval of the drug. The FDA wants additional study data on the compound.

• AOL says it is suspending advertising on Rush Limbaugh's radio show in reaction to his derogatory comments about a law student who testified about birth control. At least seven other companies have pulled ads from Limbaugh's show because of his comments.

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  • Economy/Stocks

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