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The economy grew at a slower rate in the second quarter than previously reported, the Commerce Department said. The April-through-June increase in the gross domestic product was 1.8 percent - not the 2.3 percent the government estimated one month ago. The revised report said economic growth was reduced by a second-quarter trade deficit that was $14.4 billion worse than originally estimated. Also, it was reported that profits of US companies decreased at an annual rate of $9.2 billion in the second quarter, the biggest drop since the end of 1997. In the first quarter, profits rose at a $47.1 billion rate.

In deals worth $7.4 billion, Cisco Systems announced the costliest acquisitions in its history, buying full control of two companies that make advanced telecommunications network equipment. Cisco already owned minority stakes in Petaluma, Calif.-based Cerent Corp. and in Monterey Networks Inc. of Richardson, Texas. The moves are aimed at protecting Cisco's dominant position in the industry amid the rapid convergence of data, telephone, and video communications over the Internet.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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