Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on December 1, 1999 · Page 6
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 6

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, December 1, 1999
Page 6
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6 - WEDNESDAY, DEC. 1,1999 Commerce THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL BUSINESS IN BRIEF Exxon and Mobil merge WASHINGTON - Exxon and Mobil moved swiftly Tuesday to conclude their $81 billion merger after federal regulators cleared the way - with conditions - for the deal creating the world's largest privately held oil company. The merger reunites two of the biggest remnants of the 1911 government breakup of John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil empire. Company officials said they would comply with government requirements that the new oil giant sell 2,431 of its nearly 16,000 gas stations, specifically those in the Northeast, Texas and California, as well as a refinery and other assets. Confidence in economy soaring ,. NEW YORK - Americans' .confidence in the economy ; surged in November, boding well for retailers during the holiday shopping season. Thanks to a sharp rebound on Wall Street, low unemployment rates and growth in personal income, consumers seem more certain that good economic times won't come screeching to a halt anytime soon. The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence rose to an unexpectedly strong 135.8 in November from a revised 130.5 in October. The increase left the index only about 4 points below its peak of 139 in June, which was the highest reading in more than 30 years. John Hancock to go public •'• BOSTON - John Hancock ; policyholders approved plans Tuesday to take the company •; public as the company moves , ; toward launching a $2 billion ini- ; tial public offering next year. s According to preliminary results, 94 percent of the 137- year-old company's policyholders who now own the company voted to approve its conversion to public ownership. Several hundred cast a final ballot at Hancock Hall during a one-hour meeting Tuesday after nearly 1 million , policyholders had already voted by mail. 1 As a mutual insurance company, John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. is owned by its roughly 3 million policyholders. In a process called demutualiza- , tion, Hancock is preparing an ini- ; tial public offering on the New ; York Stock Exchange in late Jan; uary that would transfer ownership to stockholders. Court divided over cable channels WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court seemed divided Tuesday over whether the government violated free-speech rights in trying to protect children from sex-oriented cable channels like Playboy Television. Even children whose parents don't subscribe to such channels often can see them "with merely a flip of the dial," Justice Department lawyer James A. Feldman said. He asked the justices to revive a law that required cable systems to restrict sex-oriented networks to overnight hours if • they did not fully scramble the signal for nonsubscribers. Police fire pepper spray on crowd SEATTLE - Police in riot gear fired red pepper spray in plastic pellets Tuesday at demonstrators who blocked streets and forced a delay in opening ceremonies of the largest trade event ever staged in the United States. Parts of this normally laid- back Pacific Northwest city almost took on the look of a battle zone as police confronted protesters who chained their bodies together so that officials' motorcades couldn't get through. President Clinton, who had hoped to use the meetings of the j J 35-nation World Trade Organi- J zation to showcase the benefits of • free trade, told reporters in Washington before the demonstrators took to the streets that he was "very sympathetic" with the concerns being expressed by labor unions and environmental groups. Both sides meet in Microsoft case CHICAGO - Justice Department lawyers and state attorneys general met with a court-appointed mediator and representatives of Microsoft Corp. for two hours Tuesday in an effort to settle the government's antitrust case against the software giant. Attorneys indicated the negotiations would go forward but declined to say after the one-day meeting if they sensed any progress in their talk with the mediator, federal appeals Judge Richard A. Posner. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates was not on hand. Aides said he wanted to remain in Seattle for the World Trade Organization meeting. Euro at all-tune low LONDON - The euro flirted with an all-time low against the dollar Tuesday but managed to stave off for another day its widely expected slide to parity with the U.S. currency. The euro slipped as low as $1.0043 in European trading before recovering late in the day to $1.0074, an improvement over Monday's late European rate of $1.0060. The modest recovery came a day after the fledgling regional currency sank to an all- time low of $1.0039 during trading. As the trading day ended in New York, the euro was quoted at $1.0087, slightly below Monday's late U.S. rate of $1.0095. Corning Corp.'s plan approved BAY CITY, Mich. - A federal judge on Tuesday approved Dow Corning Corp.'s $4.5 billion plan to emerge from bankruptcy, calling his action "the end to the first chapter" of one of the costliest cases of its kind in U.S. history. The plan includes $3.2 billion to settle -claims by more than 170,000 women alleging they suffered a wide range of health problems after receiving silicone gel breast implants made by Dow Coming. It also contains $1.3 billion to settle other claims, including those by creditors and health care organizations. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Spector confirmed the settlement during a 20-minute hearing, saying he would elaborate in a second opinion to be issued next week. Dell Computer unveils new line ROUND ROCK, Texas - Dell Computer Corp. unveiled a new line of personal computers Tuesday that forgoes fancy features and focuses on easy, quick Internet access for the novice. Dell's Webpc steers away from the nation's No. 1 personal computer maker's formula of bringing power and speed to business clients, instead demystifying computer use by offering the bare minimum in a stylish package to consumers and small-business customers. The system, which has three models ranging from $999 to $2,349, features updated ports for connecting keyboards and other items, and is designed with "cyber-psyched customers" in mind. Technology stocks topple By Th* Associated Press Technology stocks, which have outrun the for weeks, toppled it Tuesday. The Dow Jones industrials gave up a 97-point gain to finish with a loss as investors shed stocks including AT&T and Intel. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 70.11 to close at 10,877.81. Cotton futures prices fell in trading Tuesday on the New York Cotton Exchange as world prices continue to decline in the wake of high production and low demand. On other markets, crude oil futures prices plunged, and natural gas futures retreated in anticipation of above normal temperatures. Shopping locally benefits all of us W ith the holiday season up us, we at the Chamber would like to remind you how spending your dollars locally reaps an abundance of benefits for us all. You save time, money and miss the traffic mess found from Sonoma County south and the community receives an important influx of dollars earned from sales tax revenue. Of the 7.25 percent in sales tax collected from every purchase you make, our city (and each of the county's incorporated cities) receives 1 percent and our county receives an additional .25 percent. This means that for every dollar spent, one cent is returned to Ukiah with an additional quarter of a cent going to Mendocino County. Although this may not look like a substantial amount of money, it sure adds up fast. For the fiscal year ending June 1999, Mendocino County received $39,398,293 from the state of California and an additional $2,871,107 came directly to Ukiah as our portion of the sales THE CHAMBER BULLETIN By ELIZABETH BRAZIL tax revenue generated in this county. Return on local sales tax dollar accounts for about 42 percent of Ukiah's general fund budget. It is your sales tax dollars that help to fund the city's public safety, public works, community services and general government expenses as well as county transportation projects. If you shop in Santa Rosa, Eureka or San Francisco, not only does Mendocino County, the Ukiah Valley and Ukiah lose sales tax revenue but you deprive our businesses and community of much needed funding. The loss of sales tax dollars is not the only reason to shop locally. By spending your dollars in Ukiah, your money will circulate through our economy rather than some other city's thereby benefiting all of us numerous times rather than a few of us just once or twice. Probably the most important reason to shop locally in our. small community is that We residents must support those organizations, businesses and individuals who support us. Whose door do we knock on when there is a project to fund? It is our local businesses and organizations who donate funds for high school yearbooks, youth sports programs, disaster relief programs, special interest groups, and community events and programs such as the popular Holiday Trolley. It is our friends and neighbors who support our community's needs 365 days a year. Let's take this holiday season to return the favor - shop at home. Support your neighbors, support your community and support your own by keeping your purchasing power in our own backyard. MENDO SHINE-A-BLIND WE CLEAN BLINDS! 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