NEW YORK -- Talks between R.H. Macy & Co. and its suitor, Federated Department Stores Inc., continued through Friday, though Macy officials again downplayed the significance of the meetings.

Macy's will hold a regularly scheduled monthly board meeting today, where directors are expected to be briefed about the Federated talks.

Asked if any agreement has been reached, a Macy official said Friday, "No agreement is supposed to come out of this. There has been no change."

Macy's has said that it wants to emerge from bankruptcy as an independent company and has characterized its ongoing meetings with Federated as "listening sessions" to meet its fiduciary responsibilities. In the meetings, Federated officials have been disclosing how its department stores could be merged with Macy's.

The talks have been going on since June 10, amid industry speculation that Macy's is more open to a possible merger and that Federated hasn't let up in its pursuit.

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