Asheville Citizen-Times from Asheville, North Carolina on September 26, 2002 · Page 17
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Asheville Citizen-Times from Asheville, North Carolina · Page 17

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Asheville, North Carolina
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Thursday, September 26, 2002
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Page 17
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ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES BUSINESS Columnist Mike Benzie addresses the qualms and strategies of first kisses. Living, E1 THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2002 i ciTIZEN-TIMEScom Dow Jones Industrials 7,841.82 158.69 . . S&P500 839.66 20.37 Nasdaq Composite 1222.29 40.12 Russell 2000 Index 356.14 8.56 OnlinC Cxtr3 I Log on for features on our Business Page See up-to-the-minute market reports from the New York Stock Exchange, The Dow Jones, NASDAQ and the S&P 500 on the Business page Looking for a stock quote? Use our online stock finder I Find local, national and world business I news reports American Stock Exchange 824.16 8.56 NYSE Index 455.08 9.70 if) Stocks of local Merest Vol: Volume pr: Price 52H: 52-week high Earnings ratio 52L 52-week low Div: Dividend YTD:YTD change Yld: Yield YESTERDAY'S CLOSE: Baxter International: Global biotechnology and medical products services 32.56 company operates plant 1.23 in McDowell County. (3.9) Vol: 3129500 '-- a-; 52H: 59.90 52L: 29.50 Hg-f'v YTD: -39.3 PE: 31 " . ', ., Div: 0.58e Yld: 1.8 ' ' :"V BorgWarner: Automotive components maker operates manufac- !, 51-19 ,.: turing plants in Avery's ' u-"1 Creek and Fletcher. J (0.0). Vol: 586000 52H: 68.95 52L: 37.05 YTD: -2.0 PE: dd Div: 0.60 Yld: 1.2 Collins & Aikman: y Maker of automotive C: 5' cockpit modules, floor 3.65 - and acoustic systems -0.25 operates plant in Old (-6.4) Fort. ,. .'..(. Vol: 116500 'Jr 52H: 28.38 52L: 2.00 i. r YTD: -81.0 PE: NA . ' ? Div: NA Yld: NA Eaton Corp.: Diversified industrial manufacturer operates Eaton Cutler-Hammer plant In " Arden. Vol: 391700 52H: 88.68 YTD: -14.8 Div: 1.76 52L: 55.75 PE: 24 Yld: 2.8 63.37 1.74 (2.8) fa General Electric: - ' " u : 1 i Diversified services, tech-. ... nology and manufacturing ; ' -27.00 ; company, operates plant 1.28. in Henderson County. (5.0) Vol: 32471300 52H: 41.84 52L: 23.02 YTD: -32.6 PE: 19 Div: 0.72 Yld: 2.7 Harrah's Entertainment: Casino and hotel operator 46.80 runs the Harrah's :. -0.03 Cherokee Casino in (-0.1) . Cherokee. . Vol: 2098100 52H: 51.35 52L: 23.35 YTD: 26.5 PE: 27 Div: NA Yld: NA Ingles Markets: Grocery store chain based in Asheville operates stores in six Southeastern states. Vol: 25100 52H: 13.00 52L: 10.80 YTD: -5.9 PE: 17 Div: 0.66 Yld: 5.9 Illinois Tool Works: Diversified manufacturer operates the Wilsonart laminate ; factory in Fletcher. Vol: 1407800 52H: 77.80 52L: 49.45 YTD: -12.4 PE: 29 Dlv:0.92f Yld: 1.6 Steelcase: Office furniture manufacturer operates a plant in Fletcher. Vol: 376400 52H: 18.00 52L: 11.09. YTD: -25.6 PE: dd Div: 0.24 Yld: 2.2 Volvo: ' 1 Vehicle maker has con- -struction equipment plant and North American headquarters In , . Buncombe County. Vol: 38000 52H: 20.90 52L: 12.03 YTD: -9.6 PE: NA Div: 0.88e Yld: 5.9 11.25 -0.09 (-0.8) ' 59.30 1.65 ; (2.9), 10.95' -0.15 ; (-1.4) 14.82 0.99 (7.2) fa Inside A bill laden with perks to N.C. business and multimillion-dollar university projects cleared a Senate committee Wednesday as House leaders, who favor a leaner version of the bill, predicted the Senate's incentive package would be rejected in their chamber. See Page C5. Etaq$jn-huirtiiig ponDD s nop stocks By Hope Yen THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK Bargain hunters surfaced on Wall Street Wednesday, sending stocks sharply higher after two days of steep de- clines that left blue chips and tech shares at four- and six-year lows. "The markets coming in today were considered somewhat oversold, so you had a reflex rally," said Steven Goldman, chief market strategist at Weeden & Co. in Greenwich, Conn. "A lot of companies are now stating they were affirming forecasts and that led to a little reprieve." . The Dow Jones industrial average rose 158.69, or 2.1 percent, to close at 7,841.82. The gain erased most of an 189-point drop Tuesday that sent blue chips to a four-year low. The broader market also finished sharply higher. The Nasdaq composite index climbed 40.12, or 3.4 percent, to 1,222.29, having declined 3 points in the previous session to a six-year low. The Standard 8c Poor's 500 index gained 20.37, or 2-5 percent, to 839.66. General Electric rose $1.28 to $27 after the company said it would affirm its third-quarter earnings estimate at an analysts' meeting today. Ford climbed 63 cents to $9.97 after the automaker said it will increase fourth-quarter production due to strong sales. Investors largely shrugged off a National Association of Realtors report showing sales of previously owned homes dipped 1.7 percent in August. The results surprised analysts, who had ex- Inside How much would war with Iraq affect the economy? C2. pected sales to increase. But analysts discounted Wednesday's rally as likely to be short-lived. They say investors have grown increasingly pessimistic about the strength of the economy in the past month due to mixed economic reports and earnings warnings. Since hitting a' peak on Aug. 22, the Dow has lost about 1,200 points. It had not seen a triple-digit closing gain since Sept. 6, when blue chips rose 143.50 points. "We're in such a tough market sentiment period of time where negative news is really the only thing that sticks to the wall," said Tim Leach, chief investment officer for Wells Fargo's Private Client Services. "We're not out of the woods." Goldman said he expected continued trading volatility, particularly as investors fret about a possible war with Iraq. "It will be a choppy environment over the next few weeks, with some etching out of the bottoming process," he said. "In general, there's a lot of skittish-ness, and the war doesn't add much to the equation. On a short-term basis, it puts a cloud over the market." Gainers included IBM, which climbed $3.26 to $63.01, as the computer company rebounded from a recent slide stemming from a profit warning from rival Electronic Data Systems. Dow Jones Industrial Wed.. Sept. 25. 2002 Close: 7.841.82 - 1 I.--- Aug. 26 - 'Ml TFMTW 9500 9400 9 100 9200 9100, 9000 8900 8800 8700 8600 8500 8400 8300 : 8200 8100 8000 7900 7800 TOO 7600 7500 Pieces of crumbled Enron go to auction "The reason we bought this was to preserve this - business icon. It also signifies a lot of sweat, greed and fraud in business." SCOTT BUI, attorney for Microcache, the company that bought the Enron E By Kristen Hays THE ASSOCIATED PRESS HOUSTON The big "E" went for big green. Enron Corp.'s trademark "tilted-E" sign sold for $44,000 on Wednesday as the bankrupt former energy giant began auctioning off surplus items. . Jimmy Luu, sent by his boss at a Microcache Computer store in Houston to buy the sign, said he was given explicit orders regarding the 5-foot, stainless-steel sign that once stood outside a downtown satellite office. "He said, 'Just do anything to get it,'" Luu said after the gavel came down on the big E in a crowded Houston hotel ballroom. Scott Bui, attorney for Microcache, said: "The reason we bought this was to preserve this business icon. It also signifies a: lot of sweat, greed and fraud in business." The sign was the highlight among thousands of items up for bid Wednesday and today, ranging from routine office supplies to kitschy items like stress balls, mugs and an air hockey table. The auction will be one of many that will be held to raise proceeds for creditors. Enron declared bankruptcy amid a wave of accounting irregularities that caused its high-flying stock to crash last year. Luu said Microcache will display the sign at one its three stores in Houston. Bidders began arriving at the Radisson Astrodome around 5 a.m., four hours before the auction began. The hotel was jammed with more than 1,000 bidders, with hundreds more in line waiting to get in as others left. An additional 12,000 people from around the world were registered online. Auctioneer Kirk Dove kept a humorous perspective on the proceedings, calling the sign the "world's largest cufflink." Another "tilted-E" went for $15,000 in a London auction earlier this year. Bidders expecting bargains, however, might have been disappointed. Electronics, furniture and other items were consistently selling at or above retail price because of the scandal appeal. For instance, an older-generation Palm Pilot that can be bought for under $100 sold for $220. Brian Cruver, a former Enron employee who wrote the book "Anatomy of Greed: The Unshredded Truth From an Enron Insider," was at the hotel with his own agenda. "I'm here to buy my old chair," he said. "It's the most comfortable chair I've ever sat in, and I want it back." ON THE NET: Enron auction site: www.dovebld.com f' '"" g J FT 1 Mil ii'i'iI' INlJ.."i iiil"!""" IM :$Hooo JU (N& ; iSwJf. T5 ' .P sf Pat Sullivan photosmE associated press Auctioneer Kirk Dove stands above a 5-foot, stainless steel Enron sign as he auctions off Enron Corp. surplus items Wednesday in Houston. The sign was bought by a Houston business for $44,000. 1 -Its m0MMt Jimmy Luu, center, is congratulated as he makes the winning bid of $44,000 for the trademarked "tilted E" sign during an auction of Enron Corp. surplus items Wednesday In Houston. Luu said he was sent by his boss at a Microcache Computer store in Houston and was given explicit marching orders to buy the sign. Local bank to be listed on Nasdaq on Monday MountainBank shares to be more widely available FROM STAFF REPORTS HENDERSONVILLE Mountain-Bank Financial Corp.'s common stock will begin trading on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market at the opening of trading Monday. Asked if the stock market's recent downturn it reached a four-year low Tuesday made him reconsider the change, MountainBank President J.W. Davis said it is part of the bank's "contrarian" philosophy that has brought it success. "We believe that our listing on Nasdaq will enhance stockholder value by providing additional liquidity through increased awareness of the company with the investing community," he said. MountainBank Financial Corp. shares are currently traded on the over-the-counter bulletin board system. The company's ticker symbol will remain MBFC. "The level and quality of MountainBank's earnings stream will draw favorable attention from analysts, particularly when compared to alternative community bank investments," Davis said. "Since opening in 1997, our stockholders have shared in the success of MountainBank, and we view our Nasdaq listing as a continuation down this path." Roger Aiken of A.G. Edwards said bank and savings and loan sectors have remained attractive to investors even in a market decline. "Being listed on the Nasdaq will open them (MountainBank) to a wider group of investors," Aiken said. "The track record they have built since they opened their doors has been very impressive. That will appeal to investors." MountainBank is one of the most profitable community banking companies in the Carolinas. The company has about $750 million in assets in its 17 full-service banking offices in nine Western North Carolina counties. The company also operates a mortgage brokerage subsidiary in Greenwood, S.C. MountainBank Financial Corp. recently announced acquisitions in Virginia and South Carolina, which will bring total assets to more than $1 billion by year end. Just briefly ... RECOGNITION Manufacturing awards ASHEVILLE A panel of judges has reviewed applications for the new Manufacturing Leadership Awards to be given by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Manufacturers Executive Association.' The awards will be presented beginning at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 8 at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. The program will kick off a Work Force Development Summit being hosted at the same location. The summit is sponsored by the Partners In Education of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Youth Council of the Mountain Area Workforce Development Board, the Manufacturers Executive Association, Firms for Families of Children First and others. This consortium has identified some barriers to recruiting and retaining a quality work force. Issues include transportation, childcare, educational preparation, and school-business-community communication challenges. To register for the Manufacturing Leadership Awards Cere mony or the Work Force Devel- imLmES opment Summit, call Laura Botch at 258-6118. There is no charge to attend. Peter Laroche reception ASHEVILLE A reception will be held Friday for Peter R. Laroche, longtime president and CEO of Consumer Credit Counseling Service of WNC, who is leaving to take a similar post in Winston-Salem. Everyone is invited to stop by and see Laroche between 2 and 5 p.m. at the YWCA, 185 S. French Broad Ave. There will a brief program at 4 p.m. BellSouth employees take severance packages ATLANTA Almost 5,000 BellSouth employees have volunteered to take a severance pay package from the Atlanta company and will leave by the end of the month. The strong response to the offer means fewer than 30 workers had to be fired from the firm, which in May announced it was cutting about 6 percent of its work force. The packages are worth up to 150 percent of an employee's current salary. WORLD ECONOMY Threats to growth numerous WASHINGTON Growth prospects for the world economy are in jeopardy because of a series of threats ranging from a sharp plunge in stock prices in the United States and Europe to the deteriorating political situation in the Middle East, the International Monetary Fund said Wednesday. The IMF trimmed its expectations for global growth in its latest "World Economic Outlook" because of a variety of increased risks since it issued its previous economic projections in April. FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

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