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NATION



Published: Fri, October 13, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



NATION

The Dow averagecloses at record high

NEW YORK -- The Dow Jones industrial average broke through 11,900 to close at a record high Thursday, boosted by optimism over the health of corporate earnings.

The index's gain marked its fifth record close in two weeks; the Dow also set a record intraday high. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 95.57, or 0.81 percent, to 11,947.70.

The markets were upbeat Thursday, with investors focusing on positive news from well-known consumer brands such as McDonald's Corp. and on economic data that indicated the economy was holding up even as it slowed.

REGION

Proposal would raisegas bills 5.39 a month

ERIE -- A proposed settlement to a rate case involving National Fuel Gas would raise the average residential customer's bill by 5.39 a month, the company said.

The settlement to the company's request for an increase in its delivery service charges has been approved by state and consumer protection agencies and sent to the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission's administrative law judges.

The new rate would be effective Jan. 1. It would provide the company with a 4 percent increase in revenue, or about 14.3 million. National Fuel serves 215,000 customers in 14 counties in northwest Pennsylvania, including Mercer County.

From Vindicator staff and wire reports




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