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US retail sales jumped 1 percent in January after six straight months of decline, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. Analysts said the results, boosted by postholiday sales, were considered short-term. Meanwhile, the housing market continued its slump, with the median sales prices of existing homes falling in nearly 90 percent of major cities in the fourth quarter of last year, according to the National Association of Realtors.

To investigate surging corporate corruption connected to the nation's current economic crisis, the FBI may reassign counterterrorism agents to antifraud probes, FBI Deputy Director John Pistole told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. The FBI is working 530 corporate fraud cases.

A bill to allow Arkansas churchgoers to carry concealed guns was passed Wednesday by the state's House of Representatives by a 57-to-42 vote. The measure, introduced in response to a series of church shootings across the country, now moves to the Senate.

Nationwide, more than 274,000 homeowners received at least one foreclosure-related notice in January, down 10 percent from December but 18 percent higher than a year ago, according to RealtyTrac Inc., a foreclosure listing service.

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