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    Pacific Rim trading partners have to make an effort to seal an ambitious free trade deal but must also recognize that very sensitive markets cannot be thrown open to full competition immediately, Mexican Trade Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on Thursday.

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     Alexion Pharmaceuticals shares closed trading up 0.38% to $199.52 on Thursday after the company reported its second quarter earnings results today. The Chesire, CT-based company reported second quarter net income of $170.2 million, or $1.44 per share, on revenue that rose 24.1% year over year to $636.2 million.

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    LinkedIn Corp. on Thursday reported a loss of $68 million, or 53 cents a share, in the second quarter, compared with a loss of $1 million, or 1 cent a share, a year ago. Adjusted for one-time items, the company reported earnings of 55 cents a share, up from 51 cents a share a year ago. Sales hit $712 million, up from $534 million a year ago.

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    Airbus Group has told buyer nations of the A400M transporter aircraft that it cannot deliver all of its high-tech defenses according to plan, casting a shadow over some of its military uses as Europe battles growing instability on its borders. The troop and cargo lifter was developed at a cost of 20 billion euros for seven European NATO nations and is already in service with French forces in Mali.

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     Tyco International shares are up 0.43% to $36.95 in afternoon trading on Thursday ahead of the release of the security system company's third quarter financial results before the market opens tomorrow. The Ireland-based company is expected to report earnings of 56 cents per share on revenue of $2.5 billion.

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    General Electric Co is taking steps to shift some U.S. manufacturing work overseas now that the U.S. Export-Import Bank will be shuttered at least until September, the industrial giant's global operations boss told Reuters on Thursday. GE Vice Chairman John Rice said the conglomerate is bidding on over $10 billion worth of projects that require support from an export credit agency like Ex-Im.

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    - Virgin America Inc (VA) , a low-cost airline partly owned by billionaire Richard Branson, said it expects business to improve in Dallas, a major airline hub where competition has led to increased discounting. Shares of the airline, which took to the skies in 2007, rose as much as 10 percent to a four-month high of $32.87 after it also reported a better-than-expected second-quarter profit.

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    Hanesbrands (HBI) shares are up 0.41% to $33.88 in trading on Thursday ahead of the release of the apparel manufacturer's second quarter financial results after the closing bell today. The Winston Salem, NC-based company is expected to report second quarter earnings of 50 cents per share on revenue of $1.6 billion.

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    Piper Jaffray raises stock target to $146 on virtual reality potential. Facebook Inc.' s stock fell Thursday after the company reported ballooning expenses and warned of a potential slowdown in mobile ad revenue, but a majority of analysts think the social network is worth more after its earnings report. The stock began ticking lower late Wednesday after Facebook Chief Financial Officer Dave Wehner took the phone during the company's earnings conference call and warned that...

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    Fortress Investment Group (FIG) on Thursday said its liquid hedge funds posted a $6 million pre-tax loss for the second quarter as a result of turmoil at its flagship hedge fund portfolio that bets on global economic trends, sending its shares down.

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    - Procter & Gamble Co (PG) reported its sixth straight quarter of falling sales, hurt mainly by the stronger dollar. Even after stripping out the impact of the dollar and acquisitions, sales rose just 1 percent, raising concerns about the slow pace at which P&G is turning around its business.

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     United States Steel shares are up 0.35% to $20.11 in afternoon trading on Thursday and is the subject of today's Trifecta Stocks 'Chart of the Day' analysis. Yesterday, the company announced that it will idle its Fairfield, AL blast furnace.

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    - Health insurer Cigna Corp, which agreed last week to be bought by Anthem Inc for $47 billion, said on Thursday that medical services use was low in the second quarter, helping to keep costs in check and beat Wall Street profit estimates. Cigna's report of a continued low utilization trend backs up a growing industry view of this closely watched component of insurer profitability.

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     Royal Dutch Shell  shares are up 4.05% to $58.07 in early market trading on Thursday after the global oil company announced that it will cut 6,500 jobs as it looks to slash costs amid a prolonged downturn in oil prices. The Dutch oil company also said that it plans to cut operating costs by $4 billion and capital expenditures by $7 billion.

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     Royal Dutch Shell shares are up 4.3% to $57.78 in early market trading on Thursday after the global oil company announced that it will cut 6,500 jobs as it looks to slash costs amid a prolonged downturn in oil prices. The Dutch oil company also said that it plans to cut operating costs by $4 billion and capital expenditures by $7 billion.