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The nation’s continuing economic slowdown will keep cargo traffic at major retail container ports below last year’s levels through this summer and early fall, but month-to-month numbers are climbing and ports should see a return to year-over-year growth by Halloween, according to the monthly Port Tracker report released Monday by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Global Insight. U.S. ports surveyed handled 1.26 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEU) of container traffic in April, the most recent month for which actual numbers are available. That’s up 8.9 percent from March, which registered the lowest volume in two years, but down 4.7 percent from April 2007. “The

In 2006, Dell was affected by a massive recall of Sony batteries—batteries Dell uses to power many of its laptops. In early 2007, the company opened its first store in Shanghai. Store counts and sales represent the company’s United States operations only. Best Buy Canada is covered elsewhere in this registry. Wal-Mart is aggressively remodeling many of its stores, and some analysts believe that it will take several months before its sales begin to benefit from those efforts. Sales and store counts represent United States and Canadian operations only. Falling prices on flat panel TVs helped account for Circuit City’s disappointing third quarter sales,

Sharp Slices LCD Prices Sharp slashed prices of its AQUOS LCD TV models. MSRPs of the B2U and C3U Series dropped from $1,199.95 to $999.95 (13-inch), $1,499.95 to $1,199.95 (15-inch) and $2,499.95 to $1,999.95 (20-inch). B1U PC Card Slot models fell from $1,699.95 to $1,399.95 (15-inch) and $2,699.95 to $2,199.95 (20-inch). E1U Series models dropped from $1,199.95 to $899.95 (13-inch), $1,499.95 to $1,099.95 (15-inch), and $2,499.95 to $1,799.95 (20-inch). Prices of Sharp's widescreen LCDs, which just shipped this fall, also dropped, with the 22-inch cut from $3,799.95 to $2,999.95 and the 30-inch from $6,999.95 to $5,999.95. Supporting the price cuts will be a 30-second

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