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Unemployment in Spain rises to 24.4% from 22.9%

MADRID (AP) -- The hole in Spain's economy is getting deeper.

The government reported Friday that unemployment rose to 24.4 percent in the first quarter -- compared with 22.9 percent in the fourth quarter -- and that more than half of Spaniards under 25 are now without jobs. The bleak employment report came one day after ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the country's debt.

The Spanish economy is in recession for the second time in three years as the damage from a housing bust persists. Foreclosures are rising, Spain's banks are in worse financial shape and the government's deficit is hitting worrisome levels.


Ford handling resin crunch

DETROIT (AP) -- The auto industry may have steered its way around another crisis.

Ford says that it doesn't expect a resin shortage to disrupt production at any of its factories. That's a sign that its peers will be able to avoid problems as well.

Just last week, automakers and parts companies feared that factories could be forced to close due to a shortage of a key plastic resin. Supplies are low because a March explosion and fire knocked out a German factory that makes much of the world's PA-12, a unique resin used to manufacture fuel lines and other parts.

But Ford says it has alternative resins available. An industry expert says that means other carmakers have similar substitutes.


Amazon settles Texas suit

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Online retailer reached an agreement with Texas officials Friday to settle a sales tax dispute by expanding operations in the state and starting to collect sales taxes.

The deal comes less than a year after Amazon shut down a distribution center in Irving to protest a $269 million tax bill sent by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs in 2010.

Combs and Amazon said in a joint statement that the settlement calls for the company to bring at least 2,500 jobs and $200 million in capital investments. The company will begin collecting and paying sales tax July 1.

The announcement came the day after Amazon posted first-quarter profits that blew away analysts' estimates and boosted the company's stock.

The move is a dramatic reversal for Amazon, which has fought hard across the country against being forced to collect state sales taxes.


Starbucks posts big decline

CHICAGO -- Starbucks Corp. fell the most in more than eight months Friday after reporting second-quarter same-store sales that trailed analysts' estimates amid weaker demand in Europe.

Shares of the world's largest coffee-shop chain dropped 5.3 percent to $57.43 at the close in New York, for the biggest decline since Aug. 18. The Seattle-based company's stock has gained 25 percent this year.

Sales at stores open at least 13 months rose 7 percent globally in the quarter, Starbucks said Thursday in a statement. Analysts projected a gain of 8.2 percent, the average of 17 estimates compiled by Consensus Metrix.

Starbucks has about 17,400 locations worldwide and plans to open about 1,000 net new stores this year. -- Bloomberg News


New claims in Facebook suit

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Yahoo is bringing out more artillery in its patent battle with Facebook.

It is adding new allegations of intellectual property theft to its 6-week-old lawsuit against Facebook. In court papers filed Friday, Yahoo Inc. now says Facebook's online social network infringes on 12 of its Internet patents, up from 10.

Yahoo also denied allegations that it has been infringing on 10 of Facebook's patents and accused its rival of engaging in shady behavior.

Among other things, Yahoo says

Facebook violated an agreement between the two companies to notify each other of possible patent infringements before filing a court claim.