Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on June 14, 1998 · Page 16
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 16

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 14, 1998
Page 16
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B-8 —SUNDAY, JUNE 14, 1998 THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL This week in business: GM heads for a shutdown By JOYCE M. ROSENBERG AP Business Writer The UAW, looking to save jobs, aims at shutting GM down. The stock market decides a negative outlook is the way to go - or is it? And the Feds take on another high-tech monopoly. A look at what happened in business this past week: THE UAW MAKES A PREEMPTIVE STRIKE — IT HOPES The United Auto Workers, having seen General Motors Corp. cut its global work force by more than 20 percent over the past 10 years, struck at a second plant in hopes of making its members' jobs more secure. The UAW, already on strike for a week at a metal stamping plant in Flint, Mich., walked out at a second plant nearby, one that supplies parts for nearly every GM vehicle made in North America. Ripple effects from the first strike meant seven GM plants were idled, but the second job action could lead in the coming week to closings throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. The UAW fears GM may transfer work out of both plants or even close them. GOOD NEWS, BUT SO WHAT? Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan had great news on the economy, but his words weren't enough to stop Wall Street from having a few conniptions. Greenspan told Congress the economy is having its best combination of strong growth and low inflation in 50 years. He said that while he's concerned about the economy overheating, there are enough factors, including the continuing financial problems in Asia, that could cool the economy down. Stock investors focused on the possibility that corporate profits will suffer because of Asia's economic weakness. The dollar's reaching a seven-year high against the Japanese yen only increased the market's uneasiness. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 202.77 over the week to 8,834.94, including a nearly 160-point drop Thursday. But the market did end the week on an upward trend. Economic reports during the week presented a mixed picture. Wholesale prices rose 0.2 percent in May, equaling April's increase. Business inventories rose a modest 0.2 percent and business sales fell 0.1 percent in April. Retail sales rose a strong 0.9 percent last month as confident Americans bought cars, furniture and department store goods. FROM THE DOCKET Intel Corp. found itself the target of federal antitrust regulators. The Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against the maker of Pentium and other microprocessors, accusing it of abusing its monopoly position to freeze out and punish competitors. Intel, which controls about 90 percent of the world market for personal computer chips, said it was within its rights in its dealings with rivals. Self-help author dies at 74 The Associated Press GLENBROOK, Nev. - Leo Buscaglia, who wrote "Loving Each Other" and other self-help books, died today of a heart attack, a spokesman for his publisher said. He was 74. Buscaglia, a California educator, examined the phenomenon of human love as the one unifying force of life in his first book in 1972, "Love." He died of a heart attack at his home on the shores of Lake Tahoe, said Pat Duffy, director of corporate marketing for Slack Inc., a publisher in Thorofare, N.J. A dynamic speaker, Buscaglia was known for ending his lectures by hugging all members of the audience who would line up for the embrace. He's written more than a dozen books that have sold more than 11 million copies in 20 languages. His latest release in 1994 was "Love Cookbook." As that case began, a suit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Mitsubishi Motors was settled. The company agreed to pay a record $34 million to settle claims that female auto workers were repeatedly harassed on the assembly line at its Normal, 111., plant. The settlement was the biggest ever reached with the EEOC. • Big Tobacco lost a big case, as a Florida jury ordered Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. to pay nearly $1 million to the family of a man who died after smoking Lucky Strikes for almost 50 years. This was the first time a cigarette maker has been ordered to pay punitive damages in a smoking case. MERGING AND UNMERGING The streak of mergers between big banks stayed alive, with Wells Fargo & Co. and Norwest Corp. deciding to form what would be the nation's sev- enth-largest bank. The combined bank, which will keep the famed Wells Fargo name, would have 5,777 financial services outlets worldwide, including more branches and Internet customers than any other U.S. bank. The price tag on the deal is about $32 billion. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange and the American Stock Exchange also agreed to merge. The AmEx is already working on a similar deal with the Nasdaq stock market. Like corporations, the nation's securities markets are looking to mergers as a way to operate more efficiently and profitably. Another merger will result in the dismantling of a company. The federal Surface Transportation Board, approved, with dozens of conditions, plans for CSX Corp. and Norfolk Southern Corp. to divide Conrail Inc. between them. TICKER Nabisco Holdings Corp., hoping to give its profits a lift, is cutting 3,100 jobs and closing plants but will spend more to market cookies like Snackwell's ... Honda Motor Co. agreed to pay $17.1 million and extend warranties to settle charges it disabled pollution monitoring equipment in 1.7 million cars and vans ... Compaq Computer Corp. plans to cut 2,000 jobs, or 6 percent of its work force, as it digests the recently-acquired Digital Equipment Corp. 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