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No Aqua Dots for sale

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- The popular but dangerous toy Aqua Dots was recalled, but the fliers advertising it apparently were not.

A Toys "R" Us flier distributed in some Sunday newspapers -- including The Buffalo News -- contains an ad for Aqua Dots, the popular toy beads yanked from U.S. store shelves nearly three weeks ago.

The circular advertises the Aqua Dots Super Studio for $19.99 -- a $5 savings. Retailer Target boasted a $13 price tag for Aqua Dots in its Black Friday circular.

"These circulars were printed and in distribution before the recall," Kathleen Waugh, a Toys "R" Us spokeswoman, said Sunday. "Absolutely, Aqua Dots are not available or for sale."

Target spokeswoman Brie Heath said its circular "was so far into production that we couldn't impact it when we heard about the recall."

Target ran newspaper advertisements stating that Aqua Dots were no longer available, Heath said.

Aqua Dots were recalled in the United States on Nov. 7 after tests showed they are coated with an industrial chemical that, when ingested, metabolizes into the "date-rape" drug gamma hydroxy butyrate. The toy could cause breathing problems, loss of consciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma and death if ingested.


Consumers spend less

U.S. consumers spent 3.5 percent less during the post-Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend than a year earlier.

Shoppers spent an average of $347.44 on purchases from Nov. 22 through Sunday, the National Retail Federation said Sunday in a statement. Store visits increased 4.8 percent.

Customers have cut back on spending in the face of increased costs for milk and gasoline and the worst housing slump in 16 years.

-- Bloomberg News


In other business news . . .

In Buffalo Niagara, the cost of a gallon of regular gasoline averaged $3.29 on Sunday, according to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report. Mid-range gas averaged $3.52, and premium averaged $3.59.

A year ago Sunday, those costs were $2.41, $2.58 and $2.63, respectively.


This week in business . . .

These are the major business and economic events scheduled for this week.

Tuesday -- Conference Board releases monthly Consumer Confidence Index; Staples Inc. releases third-quarter financial results.

Wednesday -- Commerce Department reports on October's durable goods orders; National Association of Realtors reports on October's existing home sales; Federal Reserve releases survey of regional economic conditions.

Thursday -- Commerce Department reports on third-quarter gross domestic product and new home sales for October; Labor Department reports on weekly jobless claims; Dell Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp. release third-quarter financial results.

Friday -- Commerce Department reports on personal income and spending for October.

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