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* Intel Corp., the world’s biggest chip maker, said it will be shipping new Pentium III microprocessors early next year that leapfrog Advanced Micro Devices Inc.’s products in the race for the fastest PC chips. Intel is shipping 800-megahertz Pentium IIIs, which run at faster speeds than AMD’s 750-MHz chips.

* Apparel maker Levi Strauss & Co. may pull a controversial TV ad set for national broadcast this spring that high-level critics say glamorizes kids’ walking on train tracks, the firm said. On Saturday, U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat whose Cleveland-area district has heavy train traffic, called on the San Francisco-based firm to cancel its plans to roll out the ad in the U.S. in March. The company said Chief Executive Philip Marineau will rule next month on whether to proceed with the ad.

* Microsoft Corp. is teaming up with No. 1 mall owner Simon Property Group to advertise and sell its Internet service in shopping centers across the country. The deal, expected to be announced today, follows a flurry of partnerships in the last week between retailers and Internet companies that are both looking to expand their reach on and off the Web.

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* On Thursday, bond markets and some commodity markets will close early. The stock market will have normal trading hours. Financial markets, government offices and banks will be closed Friday in observance of Christmas.

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