Business briefs

Published: Tuesday, January 14, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 13, 2003 at 10:57 p.m.

Stocks end day mixed; reports anticipated

NEW YORK - Wall Street meandered through a listless session Monday, closing narrowly mixed while investors awaited the start of fourth-quarter earnings reports.

The Dow Jones industrial average eked out a gain of 1.09, or 0.01 percent, to close at 8,785.98, having risen 2.1 percent last week, its second consecutive weekly advance. But the market's broader gauges were lower. The tech-focused Nasdaq composite index fell 1.68, or 0.1 percent, to 1,446.04, having soared 4.4 percent last week. The Standard & Poor's 500 index declined 1.31, or 0.1 percent, to 926.26, having advanced 2.1 percent last week.

- Associated Press

Guynn: Strong business spending will help U.S.

WASHINGTON - Stronger business spending should help the U.S. economy expand at a faster pace in 2003 than it did last year, said Jack Guynn, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

"If consumer spending and housing hold up and business profitability continues to firm, there is every reason to believe that GDP will grow around 3 percent," Guynn said. "Growth ought to be more broad-based in 2003 and less concentrated in particular sectors like housing and autos."

Guynn's remarks to the Buckhead Rotary Club were similar to comments he made to the Atlanta Rotary Club on Jan. 6, and suggest that he doesn't favor an immediate increase in interest rates as the economy corrects investment imbalances of the 1990s.

- Bloomberg News

FAO files for Chapter 11

NEW YORK - FAO Inc., which owns toy retailers FAO Schwarz, Zany Brainy and The Right Start, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, pinched by tightening credit policies by a key lender. The company, known for its storied FAO Schwarz flagship on Fifth Avenue, said it has reached an agreement with lenders that will allow it to continue to operate without interruptions. FAO, based in King of Prussia, Pa., said it expects to meet with major creditors and file a formal reorganization plan soon, with the expectation of emerging from bankruptcy in the second quarter. Shares of FAO Inc. were down 3 cents to 35 cents in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

- The Associated Press

Black network planned

PHILADELPHIA - Comcast, the nation's largest cable television company, and Radio One Inc. said Monday they have agreed to launch a television network targeted toward black viewers. The network, to carry entertainment, news, opinion and sports programming, would compete with Black Entertainment Television, founded in 1980 by billionaire Robert Johnson and bought by Viacom in 2000. The companies said they expect to launch the network, aimed mainly at black viewers from 25 to 54 years old, later this year.

- The Associated Press

Judge denies Sun quest

WASHINGTON - A federal judge has denied a request by computer and software makers to appeal an antitrust settlement among Microsoft Corp., the Bush administration and several states.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said two trade associations had failed to justify their appeal, but could pursue their own antitrust lawsuits against Microsoft. In her Saturday ruling, she cited the recent case in Baltimore brought by Sun Microsystems.

- The Associated Press

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