Friday Briefing


Published: Friday, January 31, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 31, 2003 at 1:44 a.m.

Stocks fall on fears of Iraqi war, GDP report

  • NEW YORK - Investors perturbed by the government's latest gross domestic product report sent stocks sharply lower Thursday, halting a two-day rally. The Dow Jones industrials dropped more than 160 points, giving the blue chips a two-week loss of nearly 900 points.
    The sell-off wasn't surprising as the GDP news confirmed investors' fears about a frail economy. But the larger issue remained the market's concern that a war with Iraq would further suppress an already weak economic recovery.
    The Dow closed down 165.58, or 2 percent, at 7,945.13. The blue chips more than wiped out a gain of 121.15 from the previous two sessions, their first multiple-day winning streak in two weeks. The Dow closed back below the 8,000 level, as it did Monday for the first time in three months.
    The broader market also fell sharply. The Nasdaq composite index sank 35.71, or 2.6 percent, to 1,322.35. The Standard & Poor's 500 index slid 19.75, or 2.3 percent, to 844.61.

    Large-screen TVs recalled for fire risk

  • WASHINGTON - About 80,000 large-screen televisions are being recalled because they can leak coolant fluid, posing a fire hazard, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Thursday.
    Zenith Electronics Corp., of Lincolnshire, Ill., has received 45 reports since 1998 of coolant leaks resulting in smoking or charring of TVs, including four cases of minor property damage outside TVs. No injuries have been reported.
    The recalled analog projection televisions, manufactured in Mexico, have screens ranging in size from 46 inches to 60 inches. They were manufactured from April 1995 through July 1997, and August 1998 through November 1998. The date of manufacture is printed on a white label on the back of the TVs.

    US Airways to cancel pilots' pension plan

  • ARLINGTON, Va. - US Airways filed Thursday to terminate its underfunded pension plan with its pilots, a move the airline considers a last major hurdle to emerging from bankruptcy by March 31.
    But the 6,000 pilots, who have endured 1,800 furloughs and agreed to $565 million annually in concessions to try to save the airline, say they are being unfairly singled out and will take legal action to stop the company from canceling the plan.
    "We've been doing our very best to help keep the company afloat," said Roy Freundlich, spokesman for the US Airways unit of the Air Line Pilots Association. "But this is one letdown too many."
    US Airways Chief Executive David Siegel wrote a letter to pilots this week saying the airline has no choice but to file for termination of the plan: If the issue is not resolved, the airline cannot obtain the financing needed to avoid liquidation, Siegel said.

    Aerospace giant posts a $590 million profit

  • CHICAGO - A flourishing defense business helped Boeing Co. post a $590 million profit in the fourth quarter despite the aviation industry slump that inflicted a $3 billion hit on sales at its mainstay unit, commercial airplanes.
    Facing another tough year ahead, however, the aerospace giant lowered its revenue estimate for 2003 by another $1 billion and cautioned that full-year earnings could fall short of Wall Street's expectations.
    - Compiled from The Associated Press
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