Business & Finance

Home Depot, the nation's largest home-improvement retailer, said it will expand into China, although specifics were not offered. The announcement, made Monday at the company's Atlanta headquarters, followed months of discussion about possible expansion beyond North America, where Home Depot has 1,740 stores. China's home- improvement market is valued at almost $50 billion a year.

For the second week in a row, silver producer Coeur d'Alene (Idaho) Mines Corp. was rebuffed in its attempt to buy Canada's Wheaton River Minerals Ltd. The latest offer was $1.88 billion in stock, reported - up from the initial bid of $1.8 billion. Wheaton has indicated a preference to merge with IAMGOLD Corp. of Toronto, even though the latter's bid - $1.81 billion - is lower than that of Coeur d'Alene. Wheaton shareholders are scheduled to vote Wednesday on the IAMGOLD offer. Wheaton is based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Its coffers flush with extra cash due to the spike in oil prices, Venezuela's government offered to buy back $1 billion worth of bonds sold to investors in March. The six-month notes mature Sept. 30. Venezuela, the world's fifth-largest producer, has been averaging $30 per barrel for its crude this year - $11.50 more than the estimate on which the government's budget was calculated, Bloomberg. com reported.

The Tribune Co., owner of The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, and 12 other newspapers, announced it will trim 200 jobs, reduce spending levels in all departments, and conserve on newsprint, citing a slump in advertising revenues. A spokesman said the cuts will be spread among all the company's newspapers, although the revenue shortfall is limited to the Times, its largest, and a few others.

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