DOW: 30 INDUSTRIALS 2648.32 + 0.22 DOLLAR: JAPANESE YEN 144.35 unchanged BONDS: 30-YEAR U.S. 8.40% + 0.02 Markets STOCKS UP SLIGHTLY. The stock market edged upward in a drifting session Wednesday, showing few ill effects from the collapse of Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials rose 0.22 to 2,624.32. Volume on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange came to 138.53-million shares, against 144.44-million in the previous session.
DEPOSIT INSURANCE ON TABLE. The chairman of the House Banking Committee, Rep. Henry B. Gonzalez, D-Texas, announced a review of federal deposit insurance Wednesday, declaring "Congress should not regard the $100,000 per account insurance as a divine right." Many private experts have said deposit insurance encouraged the risky practices that created mammoth S&L losses. Gonzalez has scheduled a hearing for Feb. 21.
AIRLINE DEBATE. Transportation Secretary Samuel Skinner promised Wednesday to oppose any effort to reregulate airlines, releasing a study that contends passengers are paying less for more service under deregulation. But Sen. John Danforth, R-Mo., a critic of decreasing airline competition, said the nine-month Transportation Department study adds to evidence of excessively high fares at some airports.
AUTO SALES RISE. The Big Three automakers said Wednesday their early February sales of North American-made cars and light trucks pulled 6 percent ahead of sales a year earlier. General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Corp., which all offered buyer incentives in the Feb. 1-10 period, said they sold 7.2 percent more cars than in the same period in 1988, while sales of light trucks jumped 4 percent.
FEWER FAILURES. Business failures in 1989 fell to the lowest level in more than a decade as massive savings and loans flops and the real estate slump subsided, Dun & Bradstreet Corp. reported Wednesday.
Business failures nationwide declined 12.9 percent to 49,719 from 57,099 in 1988.
REAL ESTATE TROUBLES. VMS Realty Partners, one of the nation's largest real estate firms, said this week that many of its commercial properties were so troubled financially that it had no choice but to suspend "non-essential" payments to lenders and to its eight publicly owned mortgage- investment funds. Experts said the firm's prospects were grim. VMS owns such properties as the Boca Raton Hotel and the Omni Park Hotel in New York.
INVENTORIES FALL. Business inventories fell in December for the first time in more than a year while sales remained unchanged, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Analysts said it was a sign that the economy has slowed down. Inventories were down 0.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted $795.2-billion after rising 0.5 percent in November and 0.3 percent in October. Sales were flat at a seasonally adjusted $522.5-billion.
GM UNITS REPORT PROFITS. General Motors Corp.'s subsidiaries reported their 1989 earnings Wednesday. General Motors Acceptance Corp. had net income of $1.11-billion, down from $1.19-billion in 1988; gross revenue was $14.5-billion, up from $13.5-billion in 1988. GM Hughes Electronics Corp. had net earnings of $781.2-million on revenue of $11.4-billion, compared with earnings of $802.1-million on revenue of $11.2-billion in 1988. Electronic Data Systems Corp. reported net income of $435.3-million on revenue of $5.47-billion, up from $384.1-million on revenue of $4.84-billion in 1988.
POLL POINTS TO RECESSION. National pollster Albert Sindlinger says Florida has become the 35th state in the nation to enter a recession.
Sindlinger, of Wallingford, Pa., says his latest consumer survey in Florida shows that declining real-estate prices, an agricultural slump following the December freeze and a projected decline in tourism are responsible for fading confidence, which has caused a recession.
PICKET-CROSSERS FINED. Unions representing Eastern Airlines pilots and flight attendants said Wednesday that members who have returned to work and weakened a nearly year-old strike will face fines or other penalties. The Air Line Pilots Association is seeking fines of around $10,000 plus $1,000 per day worked by each returning pilot. The Transport Workers Union, which represents Eastern flight attendants, has disenfranchised picket-crossers from voting in union elections.
Eastern is providing attorneys for employees who received penalty notices.
RED INK FOR RADICE. Radice Corp., the Boca Raton-based developer, on Wednesday reported revenues of $1.5-million and a net loss of $1.1-million for the six months ended Dec. 31. The company said the loss, resulting in part from its reorganization, was expected. Revenues for the comparable period last year were $10.3-million, resulting in a net loss of $257,000. Meanwhile, the company announced it would move its headquarters to Orlando. The company serves as a real estate adviser to Stoneridge Properties of Florida Inc. and Major Realty Corp., both based in Central Florida.
UNIONS COMPLAIN. The Service Trades Council, which represents six unions, has accused the Orlando Twin Towers hotel of blocking its organizing efforts with prospective employees of Universal Studios Florida. The council complained to the National Labor Relations Board in Tampa that the hotel "interfered with, restrained and coerced" union officials by refusing to let them distribute handbills at a studio job fair being held at the hotel Friday through Tuesday. The hotel's general manager said no one is allowed to distribute handbills on hotel property.