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

2436.14 128.25 yen 8.75%

-48.02 unchanged +0.02

The stock market dropped sharply Friday, as investors sold amid concern about the banking industry and the Persian Gulf standoff. The Dow Jones average of 30 industrial stocks fell 48.02 points to 2,436.14. Story, right.

MORTGAGE RATES FALL. Fixed-rate home mortgages averaged 10.17 percent this week, down from 10.24 percent last week, according to a national survey released Friday by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. On one-year, adjustable-rate mortgages, lenders were asking an average initial rate of 8.17 percent this week, down from 8.19 percent last week. The rates do not include add-on fees known as points.

RATES LOW ON 1-YEAR BILLS. The Treasury on Friday sold $10.13-billion in 52-week bills at an average discount rate of 7.01 percent _ the lowest in more than two years. The Treasury also rescheduled for Tuesday a $12-billion auction of 2-year notes. Both offerings had been postponed this week because of congressional failure to raise the federal debt limit.


Macy weighs equity

sale to reduce debt

Retailer R.H. Macy & Co. Inc. is considering the sale of a significant equity stake to help reduce debt, the company told its stockholders Friday.

It is likely the proceeds of the sale would go toward retiring some Macy high-yield junk bonds. The risky IOUs were used to finance the retailer's 1986 management-led leveraged buyout.

New York-based Macy also said it lost nearly $80-million in its fourth quarter ended July 28, compared to a loss of $57.4-million a year earlier. Revenues rose to $1.63-billion from $1.59-billion. For the 1990 fiscal year, Macy said it lost $215.3-million, compared to $63-million in 1989.

DELTA BOOSTS FARES. Delta Air Lines said it will raise fares 5.8 percent on tickets purchased on or after Oct. 31, the third increase since the Persian Gulf crisis boosted the price of jet fuel. Northwest, Continental and Eastern also have announced a third round of fare increases.

POLAROID APPEALS. Polaroid Corp. on Friday asked a federal judge to increase his record $909.5-million patent infringement judgment against Eastman Kodak Co. by $173-million. Kodak asked for a $48-million reduction.

CONSUMER CONFIDENCE WANES. Confidence among consumers has sunk this month to its weakest level since the nation struggled through the last recession eight years ago, the Conference Board research group said Friday.

Tampa Bay/State

CITRUS QUARANTINE SOUGHT. A citrus industry advisory committee Friday called on state and federal authorities to impose a quarantine and fruit shipping restrictions around a Highlands County grove infested with the virulent strain of citrus canker. But Steve Poe, a scientist representing the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the canker advisory panel, said there is little rush because the 400-acre grove in Lake Placid is relatively isolated and still non-productive.

MID-STATE JUDGMENT REVERSED. A judgment of $937,380 against Mid-State Federal Savings Bank of Ocala has been reversed by a state appellate court. The judgment involved an alleged breach of contract by Mid-State. Mid-State had been negotiating the sale of a subdivision to Miami-based Marketing and Management Associates Inc., which won the judgment in 1989. Mid-State had established a reserve of more than $1-million for the potential loss.

TRADER ADMITS GUILT. The Securities and Exchange Commission said Brett A. Bernstein, former branch manager for F.D. Roberts Securities Inc. in Tampa, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in New Jersey to one count of tax fraud and one count of securities fraud. Bernstein was accused of concealing from investors his own trading in stocks the brokerage firm was marketing. He faces up to eight years in prison.

GDC FILES NEW PLAN. Prosecutors and General Development Corp. (GDC) have filed their third attempt at a plea bargain that would provide restitution to the company's home buyers without forcing it into liquidation. The Miami-based home builder said, under the plan, it would agree to abide by court-determined restitution claims.

SHAREHOLDERS SUE FPL. Three shareholders have sued directors of FPL Group Inc., claiming the parent of Florida Power & Light recklessly invested in non-utility businesses. The suit follows the company's first-ever loss, stemming from writedowns on its Colonial Penn insurance subsidiary, which it now plans to sell.

NO FUNDAMERICA TRUSTEE. A U.S. bankruptcy judge in California this week refused to appoint a trustee to run FundAmerica Inc., a marketing company that four states, including Florida, allege is an illegal pyramid scheme.


MILTON ROY. Milton Roy Co. on Friday said its earnings for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 fell to $1.5-million, or 28 cents a share, from $1.6-million, also 28 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenues rose 19 percent to $35.9-million. The St. Petersburg-based pump maker agreed last month to be acquired by Sundstrand Corp. of Rockford, Ill., for $128-million.