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Stocks rise...Lease prices cut on electric cars...Chicago Sun-Times lays off photographers

Thursday - 5/30/2013, 3:18pm  ET

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stocks are higher after a pair of lackluster economic reports eased concern that the Federal Reserve will pull back on its economic stimulus. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose and an initial estimate of first-quarter economic growth was revised slightly lower. That suggests the U.S. economy may still need some time to recover and that the Fed will keep up its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases.

DETROIT (AP) -- Auto companies are hoping lower lease prices can put a charge into sluggish sales of electric cars. Honda is slashing the monthly lease cost of its tiny Fit EV by one-third and throwing in other goodies such as a free home charging station and unlimited mileage. General Motors and Nissan are among the other companies that recently offered cheaper leases on electric cars.

CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago Sun-Times is laying off its entire full-time photography staff. A statement from Sun-Times Media says it's decided to do away with the positions at the city's tabloid newspaper and its suburban sister publications because audiences are "seeking more video content with their news." The company says it's bolstering its reporting with video and other multimedia elements.

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Royal Caribbean says a cruise ship damaged by fire during a trip from Baltimore to the Bahamas should be back in service by mid-July. Passengers on the Grandeur of the Seas were sent home after Monday's fire and promised full refunds and credit for a future cruise. A cruise set to start tomorrow has also been canceled, along with another five cruises, mostly in June.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Yes, you can eat fast food every day and still lose weight. So says McDonald's CEO Don Thompson. He says he's lost about 20 pounds in the past year without changing his habit of eating at McDonald's "every, single day." His secret: working out. Thompson made the revelation at an analyst conference while answering a question about how McDonald's is adapting amid growing concerns about obesity.

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