Tallahassee Democrat from Tallahassee, Florida on October 29, 1999 · Page 37
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Tallahassee Democrat from Tallahassee, Florida · Page 37

Tallahassee, Florida
Issue Date:
Friday, October 29, 1999
Page 37
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TaILUIASSEE Democrat jodijy; Commerce Sports new home sales fcr September. I i i I Mutuals.2 Markets. 2 Stocks, 3 ft Iff ! , nMw.taIlahassee.com Friday, October 29, 1999 w y h- w BRIEFS WALL STREET Stotis soar following labor report A benign report on labor costs sparked a broad-based rally on Wall Street on Thursday as investors who had abandoned stocks jumped back into the market, believing once again that inflation is under control. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 227.64 to 10,622.53, extending Wednesday's 92-point gain. It was the Dow's biggest advance since it rose 235.24 on Sept. 3. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 45.73 to 1,342.44, and; the Nasdaq composite index rose 72.67 to 2,875.19. Still, some analysts believed the wave of buying was an extreme reaction to fairly modest government data. Bond prices rose for a second straight session, pushing the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond down to 6.25 percent from 6.33 percent late Wednesday. Stocks drew some additional support from the retreat in bond yields, which earlier this month rose high enough to lure some investors away from stocks. EARNINGS MCI beats analysts' expectations MCI WorldCom nearly tripled its third-quarter profits, extending a magnificent growth spurt fueled by a stream of takeovers that now includes the biggest merger ever, a proposed $115 billion purchase of Sprint. The supplier of longdistance and Internet services said Thursday it earned f $1.09 billion, or 55 cents per share, in the three months ended Sept. 30. Analysts had expected an operating profit of 54 cents a share in this year's third quarter, according to a survey by First CallThomson Financial. SAVINGS Americans think lottery is way to go One-quarter of Americans believe their best chance to build wealth for retirement is by playing the lottery, not by patiently saving and investing, says a survey sponsored by the Consumer Federation of America and the financial services firm Primerica. Those living paycheck to paycheck are even more likely to feel that way. Stephen Brobeck, the consumer group's executive director, said banks and brokerage firms must take some of the blame for the fact that many Americans, don't realize there are ways to invest profitably even small amounts of money, such as in savings bonds or mutual funds. TAX ON TIPS 2 IRS letting restaurants - off the hook . In a concession to the res- 1 tauiant industry, the Internal 2 Revenue Service will no 2 longer audit restaurateurs as -long as they try to comply Z with tax laws on reporting of V tips even if their waiters ; and waitresses are cheating. Instead, the IRS is slutting its enforcement focus to the employees who aren't reporting their tips, which officials acknowledge will be far more difficult to track ""due to lack of money and manpower. The IRS turnabout, which comes after years of court battles in which the agency fought to keep its restaurant audit powers, is the latest example of agency reforms that are geared toward helping taxpayers comply with the law rather than punishing those who don't. Democrat news services "-- '.."J.-"""""" "j ' ' ' msr"""rrll " """" ""T-dsT ' i ' , "T- . " - ' " - 'Z." ' : ' - j l f'mm -r - ; . , zz rjzz'--- . 44J3 U J x7 ;0 lMU . Z'SZ'S. - ' szzzzz - - """s. - ZSSTt $ ' "m!f I ' - ' i-: .:' l!-' ' , " " 1 gSS I ' . -i'" I Ss. J ... "f. .M - n J" , , . iV : zzz -ilr -- v ' ! 1 1 mj. -I- ""' r-- T. i r ,- .""' i L . " - V;.t,- - , 1 I - ' i '---'r-. 'r-.'r I - N, -"" 7fvl I - . -r----: " -". Lisa and Chris Holmes, owners f 1 "IT1I fK W MJVUI By Kim McCoy DEMOCRAT WRITER It's 12:30 p.m. on a Thursday. A long line of customers wait patiently to place orders at Fire-house Subs. The seating area in the small restaurant at 1426 W. Tennessee St. has almost reached its capacity. Customers munch on sandwiches with names such as "Engine Company" and "New York Steamer." "It's good food," said Jim Winne, a staff member at Florida State University. "It has nice folks, and it's close to campus." Franchise owners, Chris and Lisa Holmes, opened the Fire-house on Tennessee Street last February and the one at 3539 Apalachee Parkway in May. They plan to open a third location at the end of November at 1908 Capital Circle N.E. "It's not a normal sub shop," Chris Holmes said. "We specialize in hot, steamed subs." Instead of using microwaves, they steam the meat and toast the bread. - "We don't make it cold unless somebody requests it," Holmes said. The Holmes, both 35, grew up in Tallahassee and attended Godby High School. After high school, Lisa went to Jones College in Jacksonville, and Chris went into the restaurant business in Tallahassee. Lisa was a legal secretary in Tallahassee for 12 years, and Chris was the district manager for Quincy's for 11 years. When Chris was working for Quincy's, he met a founder of the Firehouse Subs chain. The Jacksonville-based chain was founded by Chris and Robin Keep engines revved well below the redllne Dear Tom and Ray: How do engine manufacturers determine the "redline" for an engine? Is this a "self-destruct" limit? Would you recommend keeping the rpm to, say, half of the redline during routine driving? Cliff Tom: Well, I don't know about engines these days, but back in the glory days of the American Motors Corp., the redline used to be determined by trial and error. When a guy came in with a blown engine, the service manager would ask him if he happened to notice the rpm just before the piston shot through the hood. Ray: Actually, it's mostly determined in the laboratory and of Firehouse Subs, show off their ttt m PHIL Sorensen, brothers and former firefighters. The brothers asked Holmes if he'd be interested in opening a Firehouse in Tallahassee. Holmes said he and his wife looked at the restaurants' profits and talked to customers and managers. "It was hard decision," Holmes said. "We prayed about it. We turned it down the first time." They decided it might be too great of a financial risk. When the Sorensen brothers approached Holmes a second time, he and his wife took out an equity loan on their house to open their first restaurant, which cost about $100,000. "When we saw how successful Click & Clack TA L K C AR S test track these days, using sophis-ticated engine monitoring equipment. Tom: The redline, by definition, is the engine speed (in rpm) that you should not exceed. And if - - . . : , i " ti ,A , I) f ' giant Italian sub. ID UA1 Employee Keith Hanson takes the meat and cheese ingredients for a sub out of a steamer. Hot subs are the restaurant's specialty. SEARS Democrat it was in Jacksonville, we never worried if it would be busy or not," he said. "We decided if we were going to take a risk, we better do it when we're young, so we can bounce back." Both of their restaurants have about 20 employees, most of which are high school and college students. There are 29 stores in North Florida, the Carolinas and Arkansas. The chain is projected to generate about $18 million in sales. The brothers plan to open about 15 restaurants per year, but they don't plan to do any more franchising. The Sorensen brothers keep a fire station theme alive in their you do exceed it, you are in real danger of having your engine parts start to fly off. Ray: Virtually all cars with computer-controlled engine management systems now have switches that shut off the fuel injectors or spark when you hit the redline. This is an attempt by manufacturers to make cars more and more idiotproof (although the idiots always seem to eventually regain the upper hand). Tom: But in normal and even abnormal driving, you really shouldn't come anywhere near the redline. Not only are you putting significantly more wear and tear on the engine, but you're PHIL SEARS Democrat restaurants. The sandwiches have names such as Hook and Ladder, a phrase used to describe one of the firetrucks, and American La France, a company that makes firetrucks. Firefighters who come in the restaurants in uniform get free drinks, Holmes said. That takes about a dollar off the cost of the meal. In the Tallahassee restaurants, brick-patterned wallpaper covers the walls. Helmets, axes, and black and white photos of firefighters and trucks hang on the walls. But, customers seem more concerned about the food and service, than the motif. "The subs are large," said Molly Oliver, a part-time teacher at Lincoln High School. "Everything in here seems very fresh." The Tallahassee stores aren't open on Sundays, but that doesn't affect business. "We do just as much volume as others in the chain that are open Sundays," Holmes said. . "The busiest Firehouse in the chain is the one by FSU." Holmes said he expects the third Firehouse to be just as popular as the others. He and his wife are even considering opening a fourth Firehouse. The Capital Circle Firehouse will have an upgraded look. It will have real brick walls instead of wallpaper on the inside, and the tables will be more upscale, Holmes said. It'll be the food that keeps people coming back. "It taste better than most places," said Gary Roberts, an attorney. This story was supplemented by the Florida Times-Union. not even gaining much. Most cars produce their peak torque well below the redline usually in the 3,000 to 4,000 rpm range. So you should always be at that engine speed or well below. Ray: I can think of only a few exceptions to that rule: when you're passing on a two-lane road, when you're accelerating to get on a highway . . . Tom: Or when you're driving a rental car! "Car Talk" with Click and Clack, the Tappet brothers, aka, Tom and Ray Magliozzi, can be heard Saturdays at 10 a.m. or Mondays at 1 p.m. on WFSU-FM (88.9). Visit the "Car Talk" Web site at cartalk.cars.com. Chicago exchange I extends bell By Dave Carpenter THE ASSOCIATED PRESS CHICAGO After-hours stock trading goes mainstream today, with the first traditional exchange staying open late to compete with upstart electronic networks. But when the bell rings signaling the start of the inaugural two-hour extra session at the Chicago Stock Exchange, most investors,, are expected to be on the sidelines- content to keep their activity to trading's prime time. It is "the beginning of a sea change," said Junius Peake, a longtime Wall Street broker and consultant, now a finance profes-, sor at the University of Northern Colorado. "Finally customers arc getting what they want, which is cheap trading, longer hours and ... a single place where they can, trade." Several regional stock, exchanges, including Chicago, offer a few minutes of late trading for institutional investors, such as; pension funds. But individuals who want the protection offered by traditional exchanges had been-left out. Beating its better-known New1 York competitors to the punch, the Chicago exchange is offering trading starting at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time and rumiing through! 6:30. The New York Stock, Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Mar-5-ket tentatively plan to open their own after-hours sessions next year. Exchange officials anticipate' only a handful of trades today and an estimated 1,000-2,000 daily by mid-2000. After-hours trading won't really take off, they expect,; for a couple of years. Reports show U.S. economy -: still robust By Jeannine Aversa- THE ASSOCIATED PRESSl. WASHINGTON The U.S. economy roared back; from a springtime pause, expand-; ing at a sizzling annual rate of 4.8; percent from July through Sep-I tember. But it was a second report! documenting modest wage and; benefit inflation that spurred a; rally on Wall Street. ; The third-quarter increase in the gross domestic product the! total output of goods and services! followed a sluggish 1.9 percent; rate of growth in the April-June; quarter as America's soaring trader-deficit cut sharply into growth, thet Commerce Department reported; Thursday. " ; Investors who had been wor-; ried that the economy was grow-; ing so strongly that the Federal! Reserve would likely raise interest! rates for a third time this year; seemed more impressed by the; report showing wages and benefits rose less than expected in the! third quarter. ! President Clinton took note of , the GDP figures, reminding an audience of educators that the! economy has grown at an annual ; rate of 4.1 percent since 1996. "And all of this with the low-! est inflation rate in decades, while; we were actually cutting the size; of the federal government," he said. "It's virtually, as far as I know, unprecedented in our time." ! Clinton's undersecretary of commerce, Robert Shapiro, told reporters: "The American economy is well on its way to the longest expansion in the country's history and the soundest expansion in decades." In the second report Thusday, the Laboi Department said American workers' wages and benefits rose by 0.8 percent in the third quarter, slightly lower than the 0.9 percent increase many economists were expecting, indicating little inflationary pressures coming from rising wages. In the past 12 months, employment costs rose a moderate 3.1 percent. ! V 4 i

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