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TWM Today: Wall Street

|Includes: CTL, CenturyLink, Inc. (CTL)
Producer Prices in U.S. Rise .7%; Core Rate Up .1% ~ Wholesale prices in the U.S. rose more than forecast in March, boosted by higher costs for energy and the biggest gain in food since 1984. The .7% increase in prices paid to factories, farmers and other producers followed a 0.6 percent drop in February, the Labor Department said today in Washington.  Excluding fuel and food, so-called core prices rose .1% for a 2nd month, restrained by cheaper autos and appliances. (Bloomberg)

Landline Operators Qwest, CenturyTel to Merge ~ CenturyTel Inc. agreed Thursday to buy Qwest Communications International Inc. in an all-stock deal valuing Qwest at about $10.6 billion—one of the biggest U.S. telecommunications deals in years. The merger will unite two of the country's largest landline phone companies, with operations in some 40 states across the country. It also represents a long-awaited consolidation play for Qwest, a remnant of the regional "Baby Bell" companies that has struggled. (WSJ)

Jobless Claims Drop ~ The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits decreased last week. The Labor Department said in its weekly report Thursday that initial claims for jobless benefits fell by 24,000 to 456,000 in the week ended April 17. The drop was right in line with the expectations of economists surveyed. (WSJ)

Greek 2009 Deficit Turns Out Higher, Euro Falls ~ Greece's 2009 budget deficit was far larger than expected and the data may yet be revised again due to its unreliability, the European Union's statistics office said, sending the euro lower and Greek debt spreads wider. Greece is still on track to meet a 4 percentage point deficit reduction target this year but the upward revision of the starting point means it will have to intensify deficit cutting efforts in 2011 and 2012, said the European Commission. (Reuters)

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