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Hill analysts lower 2015 budget deficit forecast to $426B

CBO DirectorCongress' official budget analyst projected Tuesday that this year's federal deficit will drop to $426 billion, the lowest shortfall of Barack Obama's presidency.

But the annual summertime update by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office also contained words of warning. It cautioned that without action by lawmakers, annual federal deficits will surge upward again later this decade and spike back above $1 trillion in 2025.

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US stocks pare losses after 1,000-point Dow plunge

Stocks fallU.S. stock markets sank in morning trading Monday in a wave of fear that circled the globe after a historic plunge in Chinese stocks.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 1,000 points in early trading and the Standard & Poor's 500 index slid into correction territory — Wall Street jargon for a drop of 10 percent or more from a recent peak.

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Stocks Fall Most in 4 Years as China Dread Sinks Global Markets

Stocks fallInvestors are selling the biggest winners of 2015. Companies that have come to be known as the Fab Five -- Netflix Inc., Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Google Inc. and Apple Inc.--have seen $97 billion in market value erased over two days.

Losses have pushed the Nasdaq 100 Index down 7 percent, the biggest two-day decline since 2008. Apple entered a bear market, dropping 20 percent from a February high.

To Apple and energy shares already snared in a bear market, add semiconductor stocks. Meanwhile, the Dow joins biotechnology, small-caps, media, transportation and commodity companies in a correction.

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How banks hid billions in trades from US regulators

Gary GenslerThis spring, traders and analysts working deep in the global swaps markets began picking up peculiar readings: Hundreds of billions of dollars of trades by U.S. banks had seemingly vanished.

“We saw strange things in the data,” said Chris Barnes, a former swaps trader now with ClarusFT, a London-based data firm.

The vanishing of the trades was little noted outside a circle of specialists. But the implications were big. The missing transactions reflected an effort by some of the largest U.S. banks — including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley — to get around new regulations on derivatives enacted in the wake of the financial crisis, say current and former financial regulators.

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SEC to force companies to reveal CEO-to-worker pay ratio

CEO pay The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted Wednesday to force most publicly traded companies to reveal their ratio of CEO compensation to median worker pay.

The decision brought an end to five years of debate and revision, which began when Congress passed the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill in July 2010. Dodd-Frank created the disclosure requirement but left the SEC to determine exactly how the rule would be implemented.

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Social Security Disability Fund Will Run Dry Next Year

SS funds to run outThe 11 million Americans who receive Social Security disability face steep benefit cuts next year, the government said Wednesday, handing lawmakers a fiscal and political crisis in the middle of a presidential campaign.

The trustees who oversee Social Security and Medicare said the disability trust fund will run out of money in late 2016. That would trigger an automatic 19 percent cut in benefits, unless Congress acts.

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Microsoft hangs up on Nokia business, to cut 7,800 jobs

MicrosoftMicrosoft Corp (MSFT.O) said on Wednesday it would cut 7,800 jobs, or nearly 7 percent of its workforce, and write down about $7.6 billion related to its Nokia phone business.

Most of the job cuts will be in the phone hardware business, underscoring the company's shift in focus to software and cloud from hardware.

About a third of the layoffs will be in Finland, where Microsoft will shut down a product development unit, according to Finland's national broadcaster YLE.

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