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Business Briefs: Everett's Pave bakery closes cafe, will still offer catering

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Pave bakery in downtown Everett has closed its doors. The bakery closed its cafe Thursday, but the owners will continue to operate their catering business, said Jessica Slocum, general sales manager. "The economy us hit us as hard as anyone else, and it has finally taken its toll," she said. Slocum said the business hopes to reopen next year "so not all hope is lost."
U.S. trade deficit hits low point for year
The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in October to its lowest point of the year after Americans bought fewer foreign cars and imported less oil. The shrinking trade gap boosted growth over the summer and may do so again in the final three months of the year. But economists worry the trend could reverse next year, especially if Europe's debt crisis worsens. The Commerce Department said Friday that the trade deficit shrank 1.6 percent to $43.5 billion. It was the fourth straight monthly decline.
GE raises dividend to 17 cents a share
General Electric Co. said Friday it raised its quarterly dividend by 2 cents to 17 cents per share, the industrial and electrical giant's fourth increase in two years. The Fairfield, Conn., company said the dividend is payable Jan. 25 to shareholders of record at the close of business Dec. 27.
DuPont reduces year's profit estimates
Chemical maker DuPont is cutting its 2011 profit guidance because of weak demand for electronics as well as industrial supplies and other items. Its shares are down $2.72, or 5.9 percent, at $43.80 in morning trading. DuPont makes chemicals used in a wide range of products, including electronics, cars, paint, plastics and agriculture. The company says sales growth slowed in the quarter because of global economic uncertainty. It says some of its customers are being conservative about the way they manage cash, although it says sales for agriculture remain strong. DuPont now expects an adjusted 2011 profit of $3.87 to $3.95 per share. That's 10 cents per share less than estimates in late October.
European leaders plan economic future
Working almost to exhaustion and persuading countries one by one, European leaders agreed Friday to redefine their continent -- hoping that by joining their fiscal fortunes they might stop a crippling debt crisis, save the euro currency and prevent worldwide economic chaos. Only one country said no: Britain. It will risk isolation while the rest of the continent plots its future. The coalition came together in a marathon negotiating session among the 27 European Union heads of government -- hard bargaining that began with dinner Thursday evening and ended after 4 a.m. Friday. It was a major step forward toward European integration.
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