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Moves by Jeb Bush add to talk of 2016 candidacy

WASHINGTON — Jeb Bush's decision to release a policy-laden e-book and all his emails from his time as governor of Florida has further stoked expectations among his allies that he will launch a presidential bid.

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Ebby Halliday acquires Fort Worth’s Williams Trew

Williams Trew Real Estate of Fort Worth has been acquired by Dallas-based residential real estate brokerage Ebby Halliday Real Estate Inc.

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Meridian Bank Texas parent acquired by UMB Financial for $182.5M

Kansas City, Mo.-based UMB Financial Corp., the parent company of UMB Bank, said Dec. 15 it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Marquette Financial Companies in an all-stock transaction.

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Cousins Properties to sell 777 Main tower in downtown Fort Worth

Cousins Properties Inc. has confirmed plans to sell the 777 Main office tower in downtown Fort Worth, according to a news release from the Atlanta-based real estate investment firm.

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Glen Garden sale closes, distillery on tap

Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. closed late Wednesday on its purchase of the historic Glen Garden Country Club in southeast Fort Worth, with plans to convert it into a whiskey distillery and bucolic visitor attraction.

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Halliburton adding to North American fracking crews

David Wethe
(c) 2014, Bloomberg News.
HOUSTON — Halliburton Co. expects continued improvement in the North American hydraulic fracturing market and is "immediately" adding crews to begin work later this year.

The world's largest provider of the service that blasts water, sand and chemicals underground to free trapped hydrocarbons, expects third-quarter operating profit margins in the region to be near 20 percent, the company said Monday in a statement. Second-quarter earnings were 32 percent above the results from the same period last year. Sales climbed 10 percent to $8.1 billion.

After two years of falling prices for fracking services from a glut in equipment, prices in the United States are expected to increase 2 percent this year and another 4 percent in 2015, according to a May 16 report by PacWest Consulting Partners.

"You're seeing tightening in overall frack capacity," Luke Lemoine, an analyst at Capital One Southcoast in New Orleans, said in a phone interview. "People are going to like this, coupled with the large North America beat."

Halliburton reported earnings that were in line with the 91-cent average of 30 analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The board of directors for the Houston-based company recently authorized an additional $4.8 billion stock buyback for a total of $6 billion.

The company boosted its operating profit margin in North America to 18.2 percent from 17.5 percent a year earlier and increased revenue there 14 percent. Lemoine was expecting margins in the region of 17.8 percent.

"We continue to be excited about the North America market, and although there may be near-term choppiness in certain international markets, we see a strong pipeline of opportunities," Chief Executive Officer Dave Lesar said in the statement.

The average number of drilling rigs active on land rose 5.6 percent in the U.S. to 1,781 in the quarter as producers seek to boost output from shale formations, according to Baker Hughes Inc.

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