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Stocks up as Alibaba debut nears...Scotland's vote eases UK worries...Leading indicators up

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NEW YORK (AP) — Excitement over Alibaba's record-setting initial public offering appears to have investors in a buying mood. The Chinese e-commerce company is expected to raise up to $25 billion with its IPO. The stock market has surged higher in morning trading, with the Dow and the S&P 500 each building on a record-high close yesterday.

NEW YORK (AP) — Alibaba begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "BABA" today. The company priced its initial public offering of stock at $68 a share last night, which would give the company a market value of nearly $168 billion, bigger than But as its shares were preparing to open for trade, indications are that it will be priced considerably higher.

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — A clear decision by Scottish voters to remain a part of the United Kingdom has provided a boost to global stocks and the British pound. Independence would have shaken the U.K economy and its markets because of uncertainty over the future value of the pound and public debt, among other things. The pound briefly surged above $1.65 before settling back below $1.64.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Conference Board says its index of leading economic indicators rose 0.2 percent in August. It the seventh straight increase for the index, though last month's gain was smaller than July's. Conference Board economist Ken Goldstein says even with the slowdown in August, the index shows the economy is still gaining traction.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is rewriting new food safety rules following complaints from farmers that the sweeping rules could hurt business. The Food and Drug Administration is tweaking earlier proposals that included water and soil quality standards that farms big and small say are too burdensome. Congress passed the food safety law in 2010, following major outbreaks of illnesses linked to spinach, peanuts, eggs and cantaloupe.

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