LTV agrees to keep making steel for now
LTV Corp. agreed today to continue steel production until a bankruptcy court hearing next week on the long-term future of steelmaking operations. However, LTV attorney David Heiman reiterated that the company had not planned a shutdown that would have affected a possible restart of operations. "We are not stopping operations. We are not idling furnaces," Heiman told a federal bankruptcy judge in Cleveland today. "We are preparing the furnaces so they can be sold to a third party." The company announced Wednesday it plans to idle some production lines this week at Cleveland and East Chicago, Ind., and stop making steel by Tuesday, citing a lack of demand.
Help-wanted ads hit 37-year low
An index measuring the volume of help-wanted advertising in major U.S. newspapers fell in October to the lowest in 37 years, the Conference Board said. The New York group's help-wanted index slumped to 46 last month from 52 in September. October's reading was the lowest since October 1964, when it was 45.
Merck injectable antibiotic wins OK
Merck & Co. won U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for an injectable antibiotic called Invanz designed to work against infections resistant to the cephalosporin class of antibiotics, the company said. The drug, from the same class of antibiotics as Merck's Primaxin and AstraZeneca's Merrem, is designed to be given once daily, while the other drugs must be given three times every day.
Neiman Marcus profit falls 54%
Neiman Marcus Group Inc.'s profit dropped 54 percent in the fiscal first quarter as the recession sapped demand for designer goods and expensive jewelry. Net income fell to $23.7 million, or 48 cents a share, from $50.9 million, or $1.05, a year ago. Sales in the period ended Oct. 27 fell 10 percent to $681.1 million. Many consumers who started shopping at pricier chains in the 1990s after accumulating wealth in the stock market pulled back this year as the economy tipped into recession, analysts said.
Fujitsu to close Oregon chip plant
Fujitsu said today it will close its semiconductor plant in Oregon and lay off 670 workers. The Japanese electronics company blamed a declining computer chip market that has forced it to eliminate surplus capacity. The company said last summer that it was trimming more than 16,000 workers from its worldwide work force of 180,000 due to slumping demand for electronics, computers and telecommunications equipment.
Mortgage rates rise to 4-month high
The average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week to the highest in four months amid signs the first U.S. recession in a decade may be less severe than past contractions, Freddie Mac reported. The 30-year rate increased to 7.02 percent from 6.75 percent last week, according to the No. 2 buyer of U.S. mortgages. The rate on a 15-year mortgage, a popular refinancing option, rose to 6.53 percent from 6.24 percent.
Barnes & Noble loss widens
Barnes & Noble Inc., hurt by slumping book sales after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, reported a wider loss in the third quarter, but exceeded Wall Street expectations. The nation's largest bookseller said today that it lost $6.8 million for the three months ended Nov. 3 compared with a loss of $5.17 million a year ago. Its overall sales rose to $995.6 million from $951.8 million a year ago.
Adam's Mark to sell some hotels
The parent company of the St. Louis-based Adam's Mark hotel chain plans to sell up to five of the hotels in light of shrinking occupancy rates since the September terrorist attacks, the company's chief said. Fred Kummer, HBE Corp.'s president and chief executive, said the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have slowed travel, spurring his decision to sell off some of the 24 Adam's Mark hotels nationwide.
Corn, beans on the rebound
Corn and soybean futures bounced back today on the Chicago Board of Trade on perceptions that both markets were oversold. Wheat for March delivery fell 1/4 cent to $2.813/4 a bushel; March corn rose 11/ 4 cents to $2.113/4 a bushel; March oats rose 53/4 cents to $2.051/2 a bushel; January soybeans rose 1 cent to $4.361/2 a bushel.
Copyright The Chicago Sun-Times, Inc.
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.