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Stocks slightly higher...Fed signals plan to keep key rate at record low...Nike suspends Peterson deal

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are slightly higher in afternoon trading as investors mull over the Federal Reserve's statement on interest rates. Stocks of home builders have jumped after a rise in confidence in the new home market.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is signaling that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low for a considerable period because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. The Fed says it plans to keep its benchmark rate near zero as long as inflation remains under control, until it sees consistent gains in wage growth, long-term unemployment and other gauges of the job market. Most economists expect the first rate increase to happen by the middle of next year.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate investigators say China's military has hacked into computer networks of civilian transportation companies hired by the Pentagon at least nine times. A yearlong investigation announced by the Senate Armed Services Committee identified at least 20 break-ins or other unspecified cyber events targeting companies. The report says the hackers broke into computers aboard a commercial ship, targeted logistics companies and uploaded malicious software onto an airline's computers.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Midwest retailer Meijer (MY'-er) Inc. will pay $2 million to settle charges that it knowingly sold and distributed hundreds of recalled products. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says Meijer distributed at least a dozen different recalled products — from toys to vacuum cleaners — through a system it operated with a third-party contractor. It's against the law to sell or distribute products that have been recalled. In agreeing to the settlement, Meijer neither acknowledges nor denies the CPSC charges.

BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) — Nike has suspended its sponsorship deal with Adrian Peterson amid child abuse allegations against the Minnesota Vikings running back. The athletic apparel maker issued a statement saying it "in no way condones child abuse or domestic violence of any kind." The Vikings have taken Peterson off the team's active roster while he deals with a felony child-abuse charge in Texas stemming from the spanking of his 4-year-old son.

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