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Chemical bank lowers prime rate to 19 1/2%

The prime lending rate slid again as a major New York bank lowered its rate to 19 1/2 percent from 20 1/2 percent. The rate reduction by Chemical Bank was the third drop in the key interest rate since last Friday, when most of the nation's banks cut the prime to 20 1/2 percent from the record 21 1/2-percent level. News of the drop sent the Dow Jones indu strial average briefly soaring over 1,000.