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Last Update on July 02, 2015 07:49 GMT

ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Labor Department will report today on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. The department will also release unemployment data for June.

Also today, the Commerce Department will issue its report on factory orders for May and Freddie Mac will report on average mortgage rates.

GREECE-BAILOUT

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece is bracing for more chaos on the streets. Banks have been closed all week to prevent a crash from mass money withdrawals, while a few have been reopened to help pensioners without ATM cards.

Meanwhile, Greece and its creditors have halted talks on resolving the country's deepening financial crisis until a referendum this weekend.

The Greek government doesn't want to put up more collateral in order to receive the final installment of bailout money, and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras (TSEE'-prahs) believes a "no" vote from citizens gives Athens a strong negotiating position.

GREECE-DOWNGRADE

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Moody's investors service is slashing Greece's rating from Caa2 to Caa3, or just above default. It's the country's fourth ratings downgrade this week.

The agency says Greece is likely to default on its remaining privately held debt due to its impasse with lenders.

It says "Events of recent months have illustrated the distance between what Greece's official creditors will demand as a condition of continued support over the coming years, and what Greece's institutions are able to do to meet those demands.."

Moody's goes on to say that "This creates significant difficulties for the achievement of a long-lasting support agreement."

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT-GE APPLIANCE

NEW YORK (AP) -- The U.S. government is suing to stop Electrolux from buying General Electric's appliance division, saying the combined company would dominate sales of kitchen appliances to customers like home builders, property managers, hotels, and governments.

General Electric Co. says it will defend the sale in court and aims to complete the $3.3 billion deal this year.

The U.S. Department of Justice is asking a District Court in Washington, D.C., to block the sale. It says GE and Electrolux, the owner of the Frigidaire brand, have been competing for decades to sell appliances like ranges, cooktops, and wall ovens.

The agency says Electrolux would eliminate a major competitor if it buys the GE division, and Electrolux and Whirlpool would be the only major companies selling appliances to many customers.

CARGILL PORK ACQUISITION

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- The U.S. subsidiary of a Brazilian-based international meat processor is buying the pork division of Cargill Inc.

JBS USA, a division of Sao Paulo, Brazil-based JBS, and Cargill said Wednesday they have signed an agreement for the $1.45 billion transaction.

JBS USA Pork Chief Operating Officer Martin Dooley says it's a strategic investment in the long-term growth of the company's U.S. pork business.

The deal includes Cargill processing plants in Ottumwa, Iowa, and Beardstown, Illinois. The two plants processed 9.3 million hogs last year.

Feed mills in Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Texas are included, along with hog farms in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

JBS entered the U.S. pork market in 2007 when it bought Swift & Co. It sells products under the Swift and Swift Premium brand names.

PAYPAL-XOOM

NEW YORK (AP) -- Ebay's PayPal unit is buying Xoom for $890 million cash in a bid to expand into international money transfers.

Xoom is a San Francisco-based digital money transfer provider. The company's technology lets U.S. customers send money to, and pay bills for, family and friends worldwide with their mobile phones, tablets and computers.

PayPal said Wednesday it's paying $25 per share for Xoom Corp., a premium of nearly 21 percent over the company's closing price of $20.70.

PayPal said Xoom's presence in 37 countries including key markets like Mexico, India, the Philippines, China and Brazil will accelerate its expansion.

The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to approval by Xoom shareholders and antitrust regulators and other closing conditions.

PayPal itself is splitting off into an independent company later this month.

HP SPLIT

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Hewlett-Packard is moving forward with plans to split into two companies, filing paperwork to create a new entity that will sell commercial technology, while a separate spinoff will sell personal computers and printers.

HP said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that the new company called Hewlett Packard Enterprise will include units of the old HP that sold computer hardware, software and tech services for large organizations. The papers show those units had $25.6 billion in sales over the last two quarters, with net earnings of $852 million.

CEO Meg Whitman, who will lead the new enterprise company, said in a statement that the split remains on track to occur by November.

HP, meanwhile, said one of its senior executives, Bill Veghte, resigned this week to pursue an unspecified new opportunity.

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Business News

Major business and economic reports scheduled for release today:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Labor Department will report today on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. The department will also release unemployment data for June.

Consumer Info

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Entertainment News

TRUMP-FALLOUT

NEW YORK (AP) -- Entertainment is looking like it could be light at Donald Trump's upcoming Miss USA pageant.

Get This

CHURCH OF CANNABIS INDIANA

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- There was no holy smoke -- at Indianapolis' First Church of Cannabis.

Science/Tech News

IN THE NEWS: MAINE CREWS USE DRONE TO RESCUE 2 BOYS FROM RAGING RIVER

MECHANIC FALLS, Maine (AP) -- Officials in Maine have used a drone to deliver a lifejacket to a boy stranded on a rock in the middle of a raging river.

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