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Brokerage Firms Downgrade Duke Energy Stock

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Duke Energy's shares plunged to a new52-week low Monday as three brokerage firms downgraded its stock,saying they were concerned about federal investigations into theutility's energy trading practices.

After falling below $20 earlier Monday, or by more than 20percent, Duke's shares regained ground at the end of the day toclose at $23.17, down $1.05, or 4.2 percent. Volume was very heavywith nearly 30 million shares trading hands.

Duke Energy said Friday that it had received subpoenas fromfederal authorities and was responding to the requests forinformation about its energy trading practices.

Meanwhile, Duke Energy spokesman Terry Francisco confirmedMonday that a senior manager in Duke's Houston-based energy tradingoperations has been put on paid administrative leave while theinvestigators look into the company's trading practices.

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