Business briefs


Published: Friday, January 23, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 22, 2004 at 11:48 p.m.

Stocks dip as investors digest earnings data

  • NEW YORK - Stocks drifted lower in choppy trading Thursday as investors sifted through economic reports and corporate earnings, but Eastman Kodak surged on restructuring news.

    Tech stocks lost momentum for a second day amid weakness in the telecommunications and chip sectors, while bargain-hunting investors snapped up shares of American Airlines parent AMR Corp. following several analyst upgrades.

    The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 0.44, essentially flat, at 10,623.18, after shifting in and out of positive territory throughout the session. The broader gauges also closed lower. The Nasdaq composite index closed down 23.44, or 1.1 percent, at 2,119.01, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 3.68, or 0.3 percent, to 1,143.94.

    BellSouth posts jump in fourth-quarter profits

  • ATLANTA - New Internet customers, continued growth in Latin America and strong sales of a multiple-service package helped BellSouth Corp. post a 37 percent jump in fourth-quarter profits.

    The Atlanta-based telecommunications company said Thursday it earned $787 million, or 43 cents a share, for the three months ending Dec. 31, compared to $574 million, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier.

    Kodak plans to cut as many as 15,000 jobs

  • ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Eastman Kodak Co., which turned picture-taking into a hobby for the masses a century ago, is cutting 12,000 to 15,000 more jobs - or close to a quarter of its work force - as it struggles to make the wrenching transition from film to digital photography.

    The job cuts, announced Thursday, will be made in Kodak's traditional film photography businesses and will take place over the next three years, bringing the company's total employment down to World War II-era levels of around 50,000.

    AT&T Wireless looking at takeover bids

  • NEW YORK - AT&T Wireless put itself up for sale Thursday, confirming it has received numerous merger offers which it plans to entertain. The nation's third-largest cell phone operator would not disclose the names of any bidders, which according to sources at both AT&T Wireless and its suitors include Cingular Wireless, NTT Docomo of Japan, Vodafone of Britain and Nextel Communications. However, the company did allow that some of the overtures have come from overseas.

    Stewart lawyer voices concerns over jurors

  • NEW YORK - Martha Stewart's lead attorney is concerned that jurors at her stock-fraud trial might mistakenly believe the style-setter is charged with insider trading.

    Attorney Robert Morvillo twice raised the issue with U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum this week between interviews of potential jurors, according to transcripts released Thursday.

    ''These jurors are coming in here. Many of them have written the same thing, thinking that she has been charged with criminal insider trading,'' Morvillo said Wednesday, according to a transcript released Thursday.

    - Compiled from The Associated Press

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