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Apple Pay: What to Expect at the Checkout Counter

Apple Pay: What to Expect at the Checkout Counter

Apple, Inc.(NEW YORK) -- With the roll out of Apple Pay next Monday, the checkout experience is expected to evolve at some of the biggest retailers and restaurants in the United States.Apple's mobile payment product, which works on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus for online and brick and mortar store purchases, could very well be a credit card killer, according to industry observers.There's no need to reach for a wallet, swipe a credit card or wait for a cashier to make change. Even if you're not set up on a device equipped with Apple Pay, but others queuing in front of you are, it's possible the simplicity of the transaction could make waiting in line faster for everyone.What to Expect When You Step Up to the Checkout CounterCheckout counters in more than 220,000 stores, including Whole Foods, McDonald's and Chevron, will be equipped with contactless readers.All users have to do is position their iPhone near one of the readers at a store, hold their finger on their Touch ID and they're good to go. The simple, swift checkout motion is made easy due to the the Near Field Communication antenna in the iPhone 6, which connects with the payment point to complete the transaction.A vibration and a beep will let users know that checkout was successful. There's no need to do anything else.Behind the ScenesWith Apple Pay, neither Apple nor merchants see or store any of your private information.Instead, users take a photo of their credit card and add it to their phone's Passbook, where it is assigned an unique device account number, encrypted and stored in the phone's Secure Element Chip.When it's time to check out, the device account number and a dynamic security code are used to complete the transaction. Apple will never know what you purchased, the company said, and you'll still get rewards points on the credit cards you use.Online PurchasesThe two new iPads unveiled on Thursday -- the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3 -- also come equipped for making online Apple Pay purchases.Users can add their debit or credit card information from their iTunes account or snap a photo with the tablet's camera. Select Apple Pay when it's time to check out, lightly touch the home button with your finger and the transaction is complete. Entering shipping or billing information -- perhaps the most tedious part of online shopping -- is no longer necessary.Apple Pay works in a slew of popular apps, including Target, Uber and OpenTable.

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New Starbucks Barista Dress Code Allows Tattoos, Nose Piercings

New Starbucks Barista Dress Code Allows Tattoos, Nose Piercings

Starbucks(SEATTLE) -- Your next morning latte may be served up with a little more personality -- and maybe even some attitude.Starbucks is relaxing its dress code to allow baristas to bare tattoos and even sport modest nose piercings.In its updated dress code policy, effective Oct. 20, the coffee chain says tattoos will be allowed so long as they are not on a barista's face or throat."Treat tattoos as you treat speech -- you can’t swear, make hateful comments or lewd jokes in the workplace, neither can your tattoos," the policy notes.As for piercings, "Yes to ear gauges, ideally no bigger than 10mm and a small nose stud is allowed (no septum or rings)," the policy says. Baristas are also allowed to wear up to two small or moderately-sized earrings per ear. All other visible piercings are prohibited.Starbucks is making the move after months of internal discussions and a Facebook backlash from critics who called the company's old dress code too archaic.Other changes to its updated policy include allowing baristas to wear black jeans, colored ties and neck scarves.

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Census: More than 48 Million Americans Live in Poverty

Census: More than 48 Million Americans Live in Poverty

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- More than 48 million Americans were living below the poverty line in 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau reported in its supplemental poverty measure Thursday.But in a bit of good news, last year's poverty rate -- 15.5 percent -- was actually down from 0.5 percent from 2012.The supplemental poverty measure, as opposed to the national poverty rate, takes into account various benefits, expenses and resources faced by and available to families.

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Most Parents Who Work Say It’s About More than Just the Money

Most Parents Who Work Say It’s About More than Just the Money

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Juggling a career and a family is now an American way of life but is it really something most parents want to do if they really had the choice?A FlexJobs survey of 1,500 people ages 20-to-69 found that nearly nine in ten have to work because they need the income. Yet, almost two-thirds of parents admit they actually want to work because it enhances overall life satisfaction.In terms of managing kids and a career simultaneously, 92 percent claimed they could be great at both jobs while only two percent didn’t believe it could be accomplished.Despite their optimism, parents with jobs admit they could use help. That’s why close to three quarters of respondents with kids in school say flexibility is important to them.If they did have a choice, 79 percent would prefer to work from home full-time while 45 percent said they’d like the option of working part-time from home.Job flexibility also provides another advantage, according to parents. A majority said if they could find the time, they'd volunteer at their youngsters’ schools or outside activities.

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Seniors Often Fall Victim to Financial Abuse

Seniors Often Fall Victim to Financial Abuse

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The elderly are vulnerable to what’s being termed as “financial abuse,” that is, having their well-earned nest eggs pilfered by unscrupulous con men or even worse, relatives.A new survey by the insurance firm Allianz Life says that although five percent of Americans 65 and up claim to have been victims of this crime, close to 20 percent of people between the ages 40 and 64 say they have a family member or know somebody whose savings have been ripped off.In any event, of those who say they were victims of financial abuse in the survey, just over half allege they were taken by a relative, friend or caregiver and 20 percent blame a stranger for their monetary loss, which on average is about $30,000.As huge a loss as that is, 12 percent of elderly financial abuse victims says they’ve had more than $100,000 stolen from them.

The two biggest thefts are funds missing from accounts or unauthorized purchase of goods or services.Walter White, president and CEO of Allianz Life, says financial abuse is usually under-reported because of the shame older people feel about it happening to them.

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Firm Charged with High-Frequency Trading Settles with SEC for $1 Million

Firm Charged with High-Frequency Trading Settles with SEC for $1 Million

zhudifeng/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New York-based trading firm Athena Capital Research agreed to pay a $1 million penalty after being charged with fraudulent trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission.According to an SEC press release, the company allegedly placed "a large number of aggressive, rapid-fire trades in the final two seconds of almost every trading day during a six-month period." This action, the agency said, allowed the company to "manipulate the closing prices of thousands of NASDAQ-listed stocks."Athena allegedly used an algorithm to engage in the fraudulent trading, and the SEC says that the company was aware of the price impact its actions had."When high frequency traders cross the line and engage in fraud," SEC Chair Mary Jo White said, "we will pursue them as we do with anyone who manipulates the markets."Athena's fraudulent activity took place between June 2009 and December 2009, and made up over 70 percent of the total NASDAQ trading volume in the final seconds before market closing.

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NY Attorney General Issues Report Saying Most Airbnb Reservations Illegal

NY Attorney General Issues Report Saying Most Airbnb Reservations Illegal

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a report on Thursday finding that the majority of Airbnb reservations made in New York City in the last several years have been in violation of New York law.Of more than 35,000 private, short-term listings on Airbnb, the Attorney General's Office suggested that over 25,000 violated either New York State's Multiple Dwelling Law and/or New York City's Administrative Code. Illegal listings are believed to have generated about $304 million in revenue for hosts and $40 million for Airbnb.Schneiderman's office also said that more than 100 users were each controlling more than 10 different apartments regularly rented on Airbnb.The report also says that "numerous units appear to serve as illegal hostels," as "multiple, unrelated guests shared the same unit on the same night."The report "raises serious concerns about the proliferation of illegal hotels and the impact of Airbnb and sites like it on the City of New York," Schneiderman said. "We must ensure that, as online marketplaces revolutionize the way we live, laws designed to promote safety and quality-of-life are not foresaken under the pretext of innovation."

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Markets Rally from Early Losses Following Positive Unemployment Numbers

Markets Rally from Early Losses Following Positive Unemployment Numbers

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street climbed back from early losses to finish the day right around where it began.The Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 24.5 to a close of 16,117.24.The Nasdaq climbed to a finish of 4,217.39, up 2.07 from Wednesday's close, while the S&P ended the day up 0.27 to 1,862.76.The Labor Department said on Thursday that unemployment filings last week hit a 14-year low. The number of seasonally-adjusted unemployment benefit claims was 264,000, down from 287,000 the previous week. The last time unemployment filings were this low was in June 2000.

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Apple Introduces iPad Air 2, Its Thinnest Tablet Ever

Apple Introduces iPad Air 2, Its Thinnest Tablet Ever

Apple, Inc.(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- The iPad Air 2, Apple's thinnest tablet ever, was introduced Thursday at the company's surprise October event."Can you even see it?" CEO Tim Cook joked as he showed the 6.1 mm thin tablet to an audience gathered at Apple's campus in Cupertino, California.The iPad Air 2 is so thin, two of them stacked on top of each other would still be thinner than the first iPad, the company noted.The device will come with Touch ID and will be equipped with Apple Pay, making online impulse purchases even easier.Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of marketing, said the iPad Air 2 is "the best tablet display you've ever seen and the thinnest tablet, but there is so much more that makes the iPad Air great."The iPad Air 2 runs on an A8X chip packed with a whopping 3 billion transistors, making it faster than ever.The iPad Air 2 will come in silver, space gray and gold. Prices are $499 for 16 GB, $599 for 64 GB and $699 for 128 GB.The company is also dropping the price on its existing line of iPads. The iPad mini will now cost $249. The iPad mini 2 will be reduced to $299, while the iPad Air has been slashed to $399, the company said.

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The Ebola Effect: Schools Shut Down, Sanitizer Sales Spike

The Ebola Effect: Schools Shut Down, Sanitizer Sales Spike

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Ebola in America might have started in Dallas, but fear is spreading across the nation.Sales of hand sanitizer and cleaning products have spiked, concerned passengers are getting their temperatures taken at airports and students who are states away from the deadly disease are being sent home from school out of precaution."Obviously on the hygiene side, we expect to see sales increasing," said Randy Kates of Kimberly-Clark, which produces cleaning supplies, disinfectants and hand sanitizers for businesses, among other products. The company's sales have increased in that area, but Kates said it's likely a mix of Ebola concern and the expected bump from cold and flu season.

Sales of hand sanitizer are up 9.4 percent in the last four weeks ending on Oct. 5, compared to the same time last year, according to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm.Texas mom Shalita Heard, who lives about 45 minutes from Dallas, said she's stocking up on cleaning supplies because she's worried about keeping her three sons safe from the deadly disease."Before now, we would occasionally use the sanitizing wipes in Walmart before we use the shopping carts," she said. "Now, we basically wipe the entire cart down."

She added that she sends her boys to school with hand sanitizer.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ebola virus cannot live for more than a few hours on dry surfaces.Two nurses who treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., at a Dallas hospital are now infected with Ebola. Ohio residents are on edge after learning that one of the nurses, Amber Vinson, flew on Frontier Airlines from Dallas to Cleveland after treating Duncan, but before she was diagnosed.That news caused a domino effect at schools in several states, as health officials scrambled to learn who else was on Vinson's flight and could potentially have been exposed to the disease.One Akron elementary school is closed until Oct. 20 after officials learned that a student's parent had contact with Vinson during her trip, ABC News affiliate WEWS reported. Summit County Public Health quarantined the student and her parent as a precaution.

A middle school and elementary school that share a campus in nearby Solon also closed Thursday for cleaning after learning a teacher also flew from Dallas to Cleveland on that airline, according to the affiliate.Several Cleveland health employees, including five nurses, who were on Vinson's flight are now on paid leave while their health is being monitored, the Cleveland Clinic and the MetroHealth System told WEWS.Three schools in Belton, Texas, are closed Thursday as officials investigate whether some students were also on the same flight.The hysteria has even spread to Virginia, where Fairfax County Public Schools announced they will start screening students for Ebola if they visit the health office with a high temperature. Schools will ask students if they have traveled to West Africa, officials said.

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Apple Pay Launches on Monday

Apple Pay Launches on Monday

Apple, Inc.CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Get ready to tap your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus everywhere to pay for groceries or that burger in the McDonald's drive-thru.Apple CEO Tim Cook announced Thursday that Apple Pay -- the company's mobile payments system -- will launch on Monday.Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet software and services, showed how easy it is to pay at Apple's media event last month. All users have to do is position their iPhone near a payment point at a store, hold their finger on their Touch ID and they're good to go. A vibration and a beep will let users know the transaction was successful. There's no need to do anything else.With Apple Pay, Apple and merchants don't see or store any of your private information. Instead, users take a photo of their credit card and add it to their phone's Passbook, where it is assigned an unique device account number, encrypted and stored in the phone's Secure Element Chip. When it's time to make a purchase, the device account number and a dynamic security code are used to complete the transaction.

Apple will never know what you purchased, the company said, and you'll still get rewards points on the credit cards you use.If an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus is misplaced or lost, users can go to Find My iPhone where they can put the device in "lost mode" or wipe it completely -- making sure their private information never falls into the wrong hands.

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Amazon Ramps Up Holiday Hiring

Amazon Ramps Up Holiday Hiring

Amazon(SEATTLE) -- Amazon is gearing up for the holiday shopping season by hiring more seasonal workers than it did last year. The online retail giant announced on Thursday it will create 80,000 seasonal positions at its fulfillment and sortation centers across the U.S. "in order to meet an increase in customer demand."Last year, Amazon hired 70,000 workers during the holidays.The company says it expects to convert many of this year's seasonal workers into full-time employees.“So far this year, we have converted more than 10,000 seasonal employees in the U.S. into regular, full-time roles and we’re looking forward to converting thousands more across our growing network of fulfillment and sortation centers after this holiday season,” Mike Roth, Amazon’s vice president of North America operations, said in a statement. “We’re excited to be creating 80,000 seasonal jobs, thousands of which will lead to regular, full-time roles with benefits starting on day one and innovative programs like Career Choice for employees to further pursue their education,” Roth added.

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Netflix Shares Plummet Following Third Quarter Report

Netflix Shares Plummet Following Third Quarter Report

Netflix(NEW YORK) -- Netflix took a hit from investors Wednesday after reporting worse-than-expected subscriber growth in the U.S.Shares of the company plunged 25 percent in after-hours trading upon news that Netflix only added 980,000 streaming customers in the third quarter, falling short of its expectations.

Last year during the same time period, the company added nearly 1.3 million customers.Netflix said price increases were partly to blame for the disappointing growth.

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Unemployment Claims Drop to Lowest Level in 14 Years

Unemployment Claims Drop to Lowest Level in 14 Years

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Jobless claims slumped lower last week, decreasing by 23,000, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the Labor Department.For the week ending Oct. 11, the number of people filing for benefits fell to 264,000 -- the lowest level for initial claims since April 15, 2000 when it was 259,000, the Labor Department says. Last week's claims stood at 287,000. The Labor Department said there were no "special factors" impacting that week's figures.The four-week moving average was down as well, falling by 4,250 to 283,500. This average is also at its lowest level in more than a decade. In June of 2000, the four-week moving average was 283,500.

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2015 College Grads Can Expect Robust Job Market

2015 College Grads Can Expect Robust Job Market

iStock/Thinkstock(EAST LANSING, Mich.) -- Timing is everything, it’s been said, and perhaps that adage is particularly applicable in the case of college students.For instance, anyone who had the misfortune of graduating during the height of the Great Recession left school at precisely the wrong time.But fast forward to a year from now and it’s like 1999-2000 all over again when the nation was in the throes of one its best economic expansions.While some economists would dispute that we’re not at the level yet, don’t tell that to employers who expect to boost hiring for 2015 graduates for all degrees by 16 percent compared to last year.That’s according to Recruiting Trends, an annual survey of 5,700 companies compiled by Michigan State University economist Phil Gardner.Leading the way in terms of hiring are information services and finance along with insurance by a whopping 51 percent and 31 percent, respectively.Meanwhile, virtually all type of degree holders can expect easier times in the job market as those with an MBA can expect hiring to increase by 38 percent followed by graduates with a doctorate seeing a 20 percent boost.Gardner cautions that while the employment picture looks rosier for grads in 2015, there’s no way of knowing whether this is a trend or just a one-year blip before hiring slows again.

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What to Expect from Apple’s Special Event Today

What to Expect from Apple’s Special Event Today

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CUPERTINO, Calif.) -- Apple's year of revelations isn't over just yet.As if two new iPhones and a smart watch weren't enough, Apple has scheduled big announcement Thursday at 10 a.m. PT at its campus in Cupertino, California.While Apple has kept the agenda for today's event under wraps, industry observers expect the "executive presentation" mentioned on the invitation to include announcements on new hardware, software and products.Much of the speculation has centered on the release of a new iPad, just in time for the holiday shopping season. The company released its latest version of the tablet, the iPad Air, around this time last year.Along with the speculated new iPads, it has also been suggested that Apple may unveil updates to its Mac line of desktop computers.The company was characteristically coy in its invitation sent to industry insiders and members of the media, teasing that "It's been way too long." Thankfully, the hours are ticking away and we'll soon find out what Apple has to announce.The gathering will be held at the Apple campus in Cupertino, providing a more low-key venue than the 2,405-seat Flint Center, where Apple held its glitzy September launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.It will also be live-streamed on Apple's website beginning at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET. In order to view it, you'll need a version of the Safari browser 5.1.10 or later on a Mac with OS X v10.6.8. You can also view it on your iPhone with Safari on iOS 6.0 or later.

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How Google’s New Nexus 6 Smartphone Compares to Apple, Samsung’s Products

How Google’s New Nexus 6 Smartphone Compares to Apple, Samsung’s Products

triloks/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If size matters, it's fair to say that Google has one-upped Apple and Samsung when it comes to smartphones.The company unveiled its new Nexus 6 smartphone on Wednesday, built in partnership with Motorola. The Android device is equipped with the latest version of the operating system, which Google code-named "Lollipop."It's now a game of big, bigger and biggest in the smartphone market.Which gigantic one is right for you? Here's a quick breakdown of what to expect before you decide.Nexus 6The biggest of the three devices, the Nexus 6 has a display that is 6 inches diagonally.The phablet is packed with features, including dual front-facing stereo speakers and a 13-megapixel camera. A "Turbo Charger" is also included, allowing users to get as much as six hours of use with just 15 minutes of charge, according to Google.The Nexus 6 will be available for pre-order later this month and will arrive in stores in November, with the option for a monthly contract or installment plan through carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon and U.S. Cellular.iPhone 6 PlusApple has sold millions of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus -- and it appears the frenzy has yet to subside.The iPhone 6 Plus screen is 5.5 inches diagonally. It's also thin, measuring just 7.1 mm. The phone comes in three colors: gold, silver and space gray.Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide product marketing, introduced a "brand new gesture" for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, called “reachability.” Schiller said a double-touch, “not even a press,” slides the whole display down so you can reach “anything” at the top of the phone, making it a dream for multi-taskers.The phone also comes with Apple Pay -- Apple's new payment service that could very well be a credit card killer.The iPhone 6 Plus starts at $299 (16 GB), $399 (64 GB) and $499 (128 GB) with a two-year contract.Galaxy Note 4The Galaxy Note 4 keeps with Samsung's tradition of building gigantic phones with a 5.7-inch display that is able to reproduce clearer images and better viewing angles. It also boasts a response time of as fast as a millionth of a second.The device comes with an "S Pen" that has what Samsung calls a "natural brush effect" allowing the user to take notes on the screen as though they were writing on a piece of paper.One distinguishing factor between the Galaxy Note 4 and its predecessors is the Snap Note feature, which allows users to take a photo of their notes and easily convert them into an S Note.Audio note-taking is also top notch. The Note 4 includes several microphones for taking audio notes and the ability to tag voices -- allowing specific voices in a group conversation to be isolated and played back seamlessly.The Galaxy Note 4 is currently available for pre-order through AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon and U.S. Cellular.

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Markets Give Back Tuesday Gains Despite Positive Fed Report

Markets Give Back Tuesday Gains Despite Positive Fed Report

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wall Street rebounded from a poor early session on Wednesday, but still gave back all of Tuesday's gains and more, despite a positive report from the Federal Reserve.The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid down 173.45 to a close of 16,141.74, though it had been down about 400 in earlier trading.The Nasdaq dropped 11.85, ending the day at 4,215.32, while the S&P 500 gave up 15.21, finishing at 1,862.49.The Federal Reserve released its October "Beige Book" on Wednesday, which showed improvement and growth in many aspects of the economy, including banking conditions, consumer spending, manufacturing and employment. In addition to national economic improvement, the report also indicated that each economic indicator had improved in many regions around the country.

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HBO to Launch Netflix-Like Streaming Service in 2015

HBO to Launch Netflix-Like Streaming Service in 2015

HBO(NEW YORK) -- HBO announced on Wednesday it will follow in Netflix's footsteps and launch a stand-alone streaming service next year.Addressing the millions of homes in the U.S. that only have a broadband connection, HBO CEO Richard Plepler said, "That is a large and growing opportunity that should no longer be left untapped. It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO.""So, in 2015, we will launch a stand-alone, over-the-top, HBO service in the United States," Plepler continued at the Time Warner Inc. investor meeting.He said HBO will work with its current partners to launch the service and explore models with new partners."All in, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them," Plepler said.

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GM Reports Best Third Quarter Sales Since 1980

GM Reports Best Third Quarter Sales Since 1980

General Motors(DETROIT) -- General Motors on Wednesday reported its best third quarter sales since 1980, despite a litany of recalls for assorted problems and defects including a faulty ignition switch now linked to 27 deaths.Between July and September, the automaker said it sold 2,449,595 vehicles worldwide, up 2 percent from 2013.In the U.S. and China -- GM's largest markets -- third quarter sales were up 8 percent and 14 percent, respectively.“GM delivered its best third quarter global sales in 34 years thanks to solid growth in the United States and China, and steady improvement in Opel’s market share,” GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. “We have launches now underway, including the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon in North America, the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa in Europe, and the Buick Envision and Cadillac ATS-L in China, that will keep our momentum going.”So far this year, GM has sold 7,371,743 vehicles through September -- an increase of 2 percent.

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