Business briefs


Published: Friday, January 30, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 29, 2004 at 11:13 p.m.

Chamber of commerce gets U.S. accreditation

  • The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce has been awarded "4-Star Accreditation" from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce after submitting an extensive self-review of its programs.
    The local chamber is one of only 13 chambers nationwide chosen to receive the 4-Star distinction. The highest honor is "5-Star Accreditation."
    "Accreditation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce confirms what we've known all along . . . that we offer quality programs to our members, practice sound organization procedures and reliably contribute to positive change in the community," Chamber Chairman Charles I. "Chic" Holden said .
    To become accredited, the Chamber had to demonstrate competency in governance, finance, human resources, government affairs, program development, communication, technology and facilities.
    - Doris Chandler

    Stocks mixed; Nasdaq has 3rd straight drop

  • NEW YORK - Stocks were mixed Thursday as investors sought a direction for the market after a major selloff the day before. The Dow Jones industrials closed higher, while technology stocks fell for a third straight session.
    Investors wrestled with how to view Wednesday's 141-point drop in the Dow - as a buying opportunity or a sign of a market correction - and how the Federal Reserve's changing stance on interest rates would factor in.
    The Dow was up 41.92, or 0.4 percent, at 10,510.29 in heavy trading as many investors searched for bargains after the selloff. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was up 5.63, or 0.5 percent, at 1,134.11, and the Nasdaq composite index finished down 9.14, or 0.4 percent, at 2,068.23. The Nasdaq has lost 85.60, or 4.0 percent, since Monday's close.
    - The Associated Press

    Job cuts at Verizon cause $1.5 billion loss

  • NEW YORK - Verizon Wireless expanded its industry-leading share of the cell phone market, but parent company Verizon Communications Inc. lost $1.46 billion in the fourth quarter as it cut 21,000 jobs through a voluntary buyout that cost nearly $3 billion.
    Also Thursday, Verizon opened a new front in the battle to stop its core residential customers from fleeing to rival phone companies and cable television operators, revealing that its new partnership with DirecTV will start selling satellite TV service in Rhode Island next week.
    Noting the speculation that Vodafone PLC, the 45 percent owner of Verizon Wireless, might join the bidding for AT&T Wireless, Verizon chief executive Ivan Seidenberg said his company would be pleased to assume full ownership of the cell phone business.
    - The Associated Press

    Exxon Mobil earnings up 63% in 4th quarter

  • DALLAS - Exxon Mobil Corp. saw fourth-quarter earnings jump 63 percent as it benefited from higher prices for crude oil and natural gas.
    Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, said Thursday that it also set a record for earnings in one year, $21.51 billion, nearly double its profit for all of 2002.
    In the October-December quarter, Exxon Mobil earned $6.65 billion, or $1.01 per share compared with $4.09 billion, or 60 cents per share, a year earlier.
    - The Associated Press
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