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BUSINESS BRIEFLY

Buffalo stock index declines

Buffalo stocks slipped this week, with Graham Corp. and Cooper Cameron Corp. leading the decliners.

The Buffalo Bloomberg Stock Index lost 3.0, or 1.3 percent, to 230.98 for the week. Thirty-five stocks dropped and 19 rose.

Graham, the maker of vacuum and heat-transfer equipment, led the stocks that fell. The company's shares fell $6.96, or 27 percent, to $19.02 this week.

Cooper Cameron, a maker of valves and pumps for oil and natural-gas producers, dropped $3.12, or 6.4 percent, to $45.77 this week.

Columbus McKinnon Corp., a maker of hoists and cranes, led the advancers. Shares of the Amherst-based company gained $2.35, or 9.4 percent, to $27.35 this week.

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>Penn Traffic fires 2 execs

SYRACUSE (AP) -- The Penn Traffic Co. on Friday fired two of its senior executives as the result of an ongoing internal investigation into the company's promotional and allowance practices.

In a statement, the regional grocer said it fired Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Les Knox and Vice President of Non-Perishable Merchandising Linda Jones.

Meanwhile, the company said it had started back up its internal investigation, which had been on hold. The company continues to cooperate with ongoing investigations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Penn Traffic emerged from a two-year bankruptcy process in April 2005.

The company operates 110 supermarkets in Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont and New Hampshire under the BiLo, P&C and Quality trade names. The company also runs a wholesale food distribution business serving 79 licensed franchises and 40 independent operators.

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>Ford to end GT sports car

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. will end production of the $150,000 GT sports car this year and scrap plans for a high-performance sport-utility vehicle to cut costs and reduce losses in North America.

Ford, the second-largest U.S. automaker, sold just 1,032 of the GTs last year after starting production in 2003 as part of its centennial celebration. The company is also canceling the Explorer Sport Trac Adrenalin, a 390-horsepower SUV, spokesman Jon Harmon said.

Chief Executive Officer William Clay Ford Jr. approved production of the GT in 2002, a month after he announced his first restructuring plan for the company. The GT was part of Ford Motor's attempt at an image makeover, which also included television advertisements featuring the CEO. The automaker began running a new series of Bill Ford advertisements last year, emphasizing a commitment to making more fuel-efficient vehicles.

-- Bloomberg News

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>In other business news

* Delta Air Lines said Friday it is replacing its independent auditor with another firm. The airline said its decision to replace Deloitte & Touche LLP with Ernst & Young LLP for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31 followed a competitive bid process and was not caused by any disagreement with Deloitte & Touche over accounting matters.

* Tyson Foods, which operates a plant in Buffalo, said Friday it plans to spend up to $650 million on capital expenditures and look into overseas acquisitions, despite a slip in earnings.

* Northwest Airlines pilots have given their union leader authority to conduct a strike ballot if there is no progress in negotiations over wage and benefit cuts the airline is seeking, the union head told a New York bankruptcy court Friday.

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