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 September 29, 2003
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Stocks meander...Medco settles...A-M-R changes its mind...
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New York-AP -- Stocks look for some direction after an indecisive start to the week. The Dow Industrials begin the day at 91-hundred 86 after gaining more than 32 points yesterday. The Nasdaq hopes to rebound from a one and-a-half point loss while the S-and-P 500 was up more than two and-a-half points yesterday.

Analysts blame technical factors for yesterday's choppy session.

(Trenton, New Jersey-AP) -- Keep an eye on Merck stock Monday. A judge has given preliminary approval to a 42-and-half (m) million dollar settlement involving one of its subsidiaries.

The case involves Medco Health Solutions, which is the nation's biggest manager of prescription drug benefits. The class-action lawsuits charge that Medco, which managed prescription drug benefits for 62 (m) million Americans, overcharged clients.

Medco allegedly favored more-expensive drugs made by Merck over those made by competitors. Medco doesn't admit guilt in the deal. But it says it will change some of its business practices. That includes notifying health plans when new generic drugs become available.

(Washington-AP)-- Linux has gotten the technology industry's seal of approval. Its software has been approved for use on the most sensitive computers in corporations and the federal government, including those inside banks and the Pentagon. That's a big step for software that is widely considered the top rival to Microsoft.

The Common Criteria organization, an international technology standards body, certified Linux for the first time on "mission critical" computers. That includes computers in top-secret spy agencies and those used to deliver ammunition, food and fuel to soldiers.

(Fort Worth, Texas-AP) -- The parent of American Airlines has done an about-face. A-M-R Corporation now says it will not try to raise 250 (m) million dollars by issuing new debt.

The company says it made "no sense" to proceed with that plan given the "significant improvement" in its operating results and its strong cash position. A-M-R's stock fell ten percent yesterday after it announced plans to issue debt that could be converted into stock. Such a move would dilute the value of current shares.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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