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The government released two economic reports, each citing the biggest gains in nine years. The Commerce Department said orders to factories for big-ticket durable goods rose 10 percent in June. Every category recorded increases, led by transportation goods, which jumped a record 43 percent. The increases were sharply contrary to expectations, calling into question the view that the economy is beginning to slow. Meanwhile, the Labor Department said Americans' wages and benefits rose by 4.4 percent for the 12 months ending in June. (Story, page 9.)

The $4 billion stock purchase of Go2Net Inc. by InfoSpace Inc., announced Wednesday, is aimed at combining their online ventures to provide a "soup to nuts" line of services and content, the companies said. Bellevue, Wash.-based InfoSpace syndicates content to Internet portals and wireless companies. Go2Net, based in Seattle, runs a stable of Web sites such as 100Hot, a ranking service; payment processor Authorize.Net; Dogpile, for searches; and PlaySite.

Indicating it wants to create a leader in Internet protection, security software firm Symantec Corp. said it would acquire AXENT Technologies Inc. in a stock swap worth $975 million. Symantec is based in Cupertino, Calif.; AXENT in Rockville, Md.

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(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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