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Catheter Connections

awarded patent

Catheter Connections, a Utah company founded by nurses seeking to reduce hospital-acquired bloodstream infections, said the U.S. Patent Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for a patent that broadly covers its technology for disinfecting the connectors at the ends of IV tubing. It will be the fifth patent in the company's portfolio.

Citigroup set to

cut 11,000 jobs

Citigroup said it will cut 11,000 jobs, about 4 percent of its workforce. The bulk will come from consumer banking, which handles everyday functions such as branches and checking accounts. It's the first big move under Michael Corbat, who became CEO in October after Vikram Pandit unexpectedly resigned.

Factory orders

up in October

Orders to U.S. factories rose modestly in October, helped by a gain in demand for equipment that reflects business investment plans. Orders edged up 0.8 percent, the Commerce Department said, compared with September when orders jumped 4.5 percent. Orders for core capital goods, viewed as a proxy for business investment plans, rose 2.9 percent.

Freeport to buy

oil companies

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold said it is buying oil companies Plains Exploration & Production and McMoRan Exploration for about $9 billion. The additions of the oil and gas drillers are expected to create a natural resources conglomerate with assets ranging from oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico to mines in Indonesia and Africa.

Service companies

grew last month

U.S. service companies grew at a slightly faster pace in November because sales and new orders rose, a good sign for the economy. The Institute for Supply Management says its index of nonmanufacturing activity rose to 54.7 from 54.2 in October. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Electronics firms

fined in Europe

Europe's top antitrust regulator on Wednesday announced fines totaling $1.92 billion for seven companies accused of fixing the price of picture tubes for television and computer screens over 10 years, through 2006. Companies that received some of the highest fines included LG Electronics, Philips, Samsung, Panasonic and Toshiba.

U.S. productivity

rose in summer

U.S. workers were more productive this summer than initially thought, while costing their companies less. The Labor Department said productivity grew at an annual rate of 2.9 percent from July through September, the fastest pace in two years and higher than the initial estimate of 1.9 percent. Still, productivity is expected to remain modest next year, as companies reach the limits on the work they can squeeze out of their existing work forces.

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