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Markets

DOW DOLLAR BONDS30 Industrials Japanese Yen 30-Year U.S.

2574.77 146.53 8.56%

-8.79 +1.03 -0.08

STOCKS GAIN. Stock prices ended mixed Thursday in moderate trading after a last-minute selloff sparked by unconfirmed reports of an insider-trading scandal in the Japanese government. The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials closed down 8.79 to 2,574.77. At midday it had been up as much as 30 points. Advancing issues nearly matched declining issues in nationwide trading of New York Stock Exchange-listed stocks.

TREASURY YIELDS UP. Yields on five-year Treasury notes rose in Thursday's auction to the highest level since May. The average yield was 8.53 percent, up from 7.77 percent at the last auction on Nov. 29, 1989. The notes will carry a coupon interest rate of 8{ percent with each $10,000 in face value selling for $9,980.50. A total of $8.05-billion in notes was sold out of bids totaling $30.1-billion.

Nation

VA MORTGAGES RISING. The Department of Veterans Affairs said Thursday it is raising its maximum interest rate for federally backed VA home mortgages by one-half percentage point to 10 percent, effective today. Rates on graduated payment mortgages will go to 10.25 percent; home improvement loans, 11.5 percent; manufactured home loans, 12.5 percent; manufactured home lot-only loans, 12 percent; and manufactured home and lot loans, 12 percent.

STORES GET DELAY. A bankruptcy judge in Cincinnati has given Federated Department Stores Inc. and Allied Stores Corp. more time to decide whether to continue leases at their 260 store locations nationwide. But Judge J. Vincent Aug Jr. said Thursday he might reconsider and set a deadline if developers or mall operators demand it.

BANK'S RED INK DEEPER. Bank of New England Corp. said Thursday its 1989 losses were worse than expected at $1.11-billion, and the company said it was studying whether loan-loss provisions should have been bigger earlier in the year. Analysts said the review of loan loss provisions indicates the bank might have misstated its financial condition in previous quarters, which could open the bank to more lawsuits from shareholders.

GREYHOUND STRIKE. Greyhound Lines Inc.'s drivers' union has called a strike for March 2, following the breakup of contract negotiations, the company said Thursday. Greyhound, which runs the only nationwide intercity bus system, said it would operate a reduced schedule in the event of a strike by the Amalgamated Council of Greyhound Local Unions, which represents 6,300 drivers and 3,075 office and maintenance workers.

Tampa Bay/State

GRAPEFRUIT WOES. Grapefruit sales to South Korea were hurt by an unnecessary scare over the agricultural chemical Alar, said the Florida Department of Citrus in turning to the International Trade Commission for help. Florida officials charge a food safety panic was precipitated by consumer groups in South Korea last June, damaging Florida grapefruit exports to that country. South Korea imported $3.8-million worth of grapefruit in 1989.

DISNEY SUES FOX. The Walt Disney Co. has sued Fox Broadcasting Co. and its affiliates over Fox's planned children's programing. Disney alleged in the suit filed in U.S. District Court this week that Fox has attempted to prevent its 129 affiliated stations from carrying The Disney Afternoon, a two-hour daily lineup of children's programing in syndication. Fox soon will introduce its own children's network of daily shows, with the first program set to debut in September.

KASH 'N KARRY CLOSINGS. Kash n' Karry Food Stores Inc., Tampa, plans to close three of its older, smaller stores within the next 18 months, but will hold onto the real estate. Kash n' Karry won't close the stores until it finds tenants to rent the space. The 117-store grocery chain has four stores under construction. Kash n' Karry has been studying changes in its network of stores since purchasing 24 locations from the defunct Florida Choice chain in 1988. Kash n' Karry declined to identify the stores it plans to close.

NAUGHTON LAWSUITS. Six customers of the former John Naughton Ford automobile dealership in Tampa sued Ford Motor Co. Thursday for unspecified damages stemming from their negotiations in 1986 and 1987 with the dealership at 6202 E Hillsborough Ave. In a suit filed in Hillsborough County Circuit Court, the customers accuse Ford of permitting and encouraging high-pressure sales tactics at the dealership. John Naughton Sr. was forced to sell the dealership after an investigation into its sales practices by the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office.

Earnings

MILTON ROY. Milton Roy Co., a St. Petersburg-based maker of metering pumps, reported 52 percent higher net income on 11 percent lower sales for 1989. Net income was a record $8.6-million, or $1.52 a share, on sales of $125.4-million, compared with $5.7-million, or $1.06, on sales of $140.7-million in 1988. For the fourth quarter, net income was $2.0-million, or 34 cents a share, on sales of $31.1-million, compared with net income in the year-earlier quarter of $1.3-million, or 25 cents, on sales of $34.4-million.

EXXON. Exxon Corp. on Thursday lowered its fourth quarter and 1989 profit estimates by $300-million to account for legal costs and additional cleanup charges associated with last year's Alaska oil spill. For the fourth quarter, Exxon estimates its earnings will total $485-million, or 37 cents a share, down 65 percent from $1.4-billion, or $1.06 a share, in the comparable 1988 period. Revenue was up 15 percent in the quarter to $26.6-billion from $23-billion.

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