Business briefs- Wall Street falters, but ends quarter strong


Published: Wednesday, October 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, September 30, 2003 at 11:04 p.m.
  • NEW YORK - Disappointing reports on consumer confidence and business activity in the Midwest sent stocks back into a downward slide Tuesday, leaving Wall Street with a loss for the month of September. But the market nonetheless ended a solid third quarter, with the Nasdaq composite index rising 10 percent for its fourth straight quarterly gain. The Dow Jones industrials and Standard & Poor's 500 index each scored a second consecutive quarterly advance.
    The Dow closed down 105.18, or 1.1 percent, at 9,275.06, according to preliminary calculations. The loss more than erased Monday's gain of 67.16. The Nasdaq composite index dropped 37.62, or 2.1 percent, to 1,786.94. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 10.61, or 1.1 percent, to 995.97.

    Labor Department reports weak hiring

  • WASHINGTON - Companies have slowed the pace of layoffs, but have broken with previous economic rebounds by not boosting their hiring plans, the Labor Department said Tuesday.
    The department said this lack of hiring translated into a net job loss on business payrolls of 356,000 in 2002, the first full year of recovery from the 2001 recession. The job movements tracked by the study are similar to those in the department's monthly survey of non-farm business payrolls. However, the new version is based on the actual unemployment insurance reports that 6.4 million private-sector businesses are required to file.

    Government to end airline reimbursement

  • Starting Wednesday, the government will no longer reimburse airlines for airport security fees, and travelers could be faced with higher ticket prices as a result.
    After four months, the government aid program officially ended Sept. 30, forcing beleaguered airlines to decide whether to pass along these charges to customers, or hold historically low fares steady.
    The security fee is $2.50 for each trip segment, and the reimbursements amounted to about $7 for each roundtrip ticket sold since June, according to the Air Transport Association.

    Wal-Mart to adopt tougher tobacco policy

  • LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, and attorneys general in 43 states have reached an agreement to curb tobacco sales to minors.
    Wal-Mart has agreed to adopt new procedures in their stores nationwide such as accepting only valid government-issued photo IDs as proof of age, and will hire an independent company to conduct random compliance checks, Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe said Tuesday.

    Execs suspended after conflicted fund trades

  • NEW YORK - Regulators examining shady practices in mutual fund trading have asked for information from Alliance Capital Management Holding LP, which suspended two employees Tuesday after an internal investigation found conflicts of interest in "market timing" transactions.
    Alliance Capital, investment adviser to the Alliance family of mutual funds, said it is cooperating with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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