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After five back-to-back losing sessions, the stock market staged a broad advance Thursday, inspired partly by a government report that showed a downturn in jobless benefit claims. The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials closed up 23.78 points to 3,176.03.

Tampa Bay/State

American adds new

Tampa-Chicago flights

American Airlines will launch two daily, non-stop flights between Tampa and Chicago on Nov. 1, the airline announced Thursday.

The airline will start a third daily round-trip run beginning Dec. 18.

The new service will benefit international travelers, who use Chicago as a connecting hub, to fly to Central Florida tourist attractions, as well as business people, American officials said.

SEARS ADDS COMPUTERS. Add Sears, Roebuck & Co. to the list of retailers fighting for a chunk of the personal computer business. Sears today opens Office Center departments locally in Countryside Mall, Tyrone Square, Tampa Bay Center and University Square Mall. Sears hopes to tap into the growing home office market. About 45-million Americans now work at home, a figure forecast to grow to 60-million within two years. Brand names carried include Apple, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Laser, Motorola, Packard-Bell, Toshiba and Xerox.

MARTIN MARIETTA CUTS JOBS. Martin Marietta Corp. is cutting 300 jobs by January in its computer networking division, taking employment in the Orlando area from 10,000 to 7,200 in one year, the company said Thursday.


JOBLESS CLAIMS FALL. The Labor Department said Thursday the number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell by 24,000, to 400,000, during the week ended Sept. 26, the first decline in six weeks. But it remained at a level that analysts said portrayed a stagnant jobs picture.

RETAIL SALES UP. Cool weather and late back-to-school shopping lured consumers into stores last month, but it was low prices that encouraged them to open their wallets, allowing retailers on Thursday to report better-than-expected September sales. Analysts cautioned against reading too much into the results, since they came after poor sales in August.

GILLETT OUT OF CHAPTER 11. Gillett Holdings Inc., owner of ski areas and broadcast stations, including WTVT-Ch. 13, announced Thursday that it has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. As part of the reorganization plan, majority ownership of Gillett Holdings and its subsidiaries shifted from George Gillett to Apollo Ski Partners Ltd., an affiliate of an investment group called Apollo Partners.

SAVINGS BONDS IN DEMAND. Sales of U.S. savings bonds in September totaled $2.02-billion, the largest amount sold in that month in the history of the program, the Treasury Department said Thursday. The sales pace reflected investor interest in the relatively high interest rates savings bonds are offering compared to other investments.

FORD TO OFFER STOCK. Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it wants to sell $1-billion in preferred stock, hoping to lure small investors whose current fixed-rate investments are fetching paltry interest. The offering was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

AT&T TO EXPLAIN CARDS. The Federal Communications Commission ordered American Telephone & Telegraph on Thursday to explain better to its customers how to use credit cards on pay phones. The problem stemmed from the new cards AT&T developed that could be used only at pay phones hooked up to the AT&T long-distance service, unless a special access number is punched.


MEDIA GENERAL. The diversified Richmond, Va.-based media company earned $1.9-million, or 7 cents a share, in the three months ended Sept. 27 in contrast to a loss of $78.8-million, or $3.03 a share, a year ago. The 1991 loss included special charges associated with an early retirement program and consolidating its two Richmond papers. Revenue in the quarter slipped to $140-million from $142.2-million a year earlier. Media General publishes three daily newspapers, including the Tampa Tribune, and operates three TV stations, including WFLA-Ch. 8 in Tampa.


30 industrials vs. Japanese yen 30-year U.S. bond

3176.03 121.70 7.44

+23.78 +0.30 -0.04