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SEC EXTENDS BUYBACK WAIVER

Federal securities regulators on Friday lifted restrictions on companies buying back their own shares for a second week to help buttress prices in a battered stock market unnerved by fears about national security and the economy.

A week ago, the Securities and Exchange Commission used its emergency powers for the first time ever to ease the restrictions on corporations' purchases of their shares, a move intended to smooth trading for last Monday's reopening of the market after a four-day shutdown caused by the terrorist attacks. The special waiver of the market rules covered five trading days, from Monday through Friday.

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