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BUSINESS BRIEFLY

World Cup scoring keeps fans a-Twitter

NEW YORK (AP) -- When a World Cup goal is scored, Twitter celebrates.

Traffic surges on the social networking site whenever a big goal is scored in the soccer tournament. On an average day, Twitter normally handles about 750 tweets per second. But Monday, when Japan scored against Cameroon, the number soared to 2,940.

Nearly as much traffic was reported Monday after Brazil's first goal against North Korea, as well as June 11 after Mexico's tying goal against South Africa.

Twitter has yet to announce its numbers for Friday's U.S.-Slovenia 2-2 draw, which was likely to have caused huge amounts of activity.

Basketball, however, still trumps soccer. Thursday night's NBA Championship game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics generated as many as 3,085 tweets per second.

Enormous traffic from the World Cup has contributed to frequent outage problems for Twitter.

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Caterpillar sales leap ahead

NEW YORK (AP) -- Caterpillar Inc. said Friday its machine sales worldwide jumped 11 percent last month compared with a year ago as a rebound in North American and Asian business markets helped offset declines in European sales.

It was the first time since August 2006 that the company has reported year-over-year growth in North America machine sales, said Jefferies & Co. analyst Stephen Volkmann.

"While this is in line with our view that the industrial economy is recovering, it is also somewhat stronger than even we had expected," he added.

Caterpillar is the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment. Because its iconic yellow-and-black equipment is used in many different sectors all over the world, the company's sales are considered an indicator of global economic health.

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Gold prices again set record

Gold prices are at a record high for a second day as investors continue to question the strength of the global economic recovery.

Gold for August delivery rose $9.60 to settle at $1,258.30 an ounce Friday after hitting $1,263.70 an ounce earlier in the day. Many analysts speculate the price could top $1,300 an ounce in the months ahead.

Investors are looking for clues that the economic recovery is on track in the United States and in Europe.

Analysts say they are buying gold as a refuge from riskier assets.

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More attorneys switch firms

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, a San Francisco-based law firm, plans to hire as many as 20 corporate attorneys from law firm Nixon Peabody LLP, at least the third group to leave that firm since May 1.

The attorneys, who are all in New York City and are joining Pillsbury Winthrop's New York office, specialize in leveraged finance, private-equity, municipal-finance and distressed-investing law. Seven have agreed to move, and others are negotiating, according to James M. Rishwain Jr., Pillsbury's chairman. Nixon Peabody has 800 attorneys in 17 cities, including Buffalo, the firm's Web site says.

DLA Piper LLP announced in May that four partners from Nixon Peabody were joining the 3,500-lawyer firm to direct a sports transactional practice. DLA hired three more partners from the firm two weeks later.

The group joining Pillsbury, a 700-lawyer firm with 14 offices, now includes five partners and two counsels, and the number probably will reach 15 to 20 including associates, Rishwain said.-- Bloomberg News

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North Forest project starts

North Forest Office Providers said Friday it broke ground on a commercial office park development in Commerce City, Colo., outside Denver.

The firm's 104th Avenue Professional and Medical Center will feature six one-story buildings with a total of 54,684 square feet of professional office space. It's expected to be ready for occupancy in the fourth quarter.

It is North Forest's third office park in the Denver market. The firm bought the six-acre parcel and announced the project earlier this year. North Forest has 13 office parks in Western New York, totaling 350,000 square feet of leased space.

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