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The stock market fell sharply Monday as bond market interest rates rose to the highest level in 2{ years amid worry about the strengthening economy and inflation.

TREASURY YIELDS RISE. Interest rates on short-term Treasury securities rose in Monday's auction to the highest level in more than three years. The Treasury Department sold $13.6-billion in three-month bills at an average discount rate of 5.07 percent, up from 4.92 percent last week. Another $13.6-billion was sold in six-month bills at an average discount rate of 5.51 percent, up from 5.34 percent. The new discount rates understate the actual return to investors _ 5.21 percent for three-month bills and 5.75 percent for a six-month bill. In a separate report, the Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills rose to 6.10 percent last week from 6.04 percent the previous week.


President signs

bankruptcy reform

President Clinton signed into law Monday the most sweeping bankruptcy reform measure enacted in 16 years.

The law makes administrative changes designed to give federal judges power to resolve bankruptcy cases more quickly, particularly when small businesses are involved.

It creates a simplified "fast-track" system for businesses with debts less than $2-million, meaning quicker and less costly disposition of approximately 70 percent of the business reorganizations handled by the bankruptcy system.

The new law allows more individuals to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which permits them to work out payment plans, rather than Chapter 7, which requires the sale of most of a debtor's property. The debt limit for Chapter 13 was raised by the new law from $450,000 to $1-million.

Tampa Bay/State

BROWN ADDS TITLE. J. Hyatt Brown has added the title of chairman to those of president and chief executive of Poe & Brown Inc. Former chairman William F. Poe retired from the company in August. Poe & Brown is an insurance agency with headquarters in Daytona Beach and Tampa.


AMERICAN EXPRESS CO. The credit card giant said Monday that it earned $369-million, or 71 cents a share, during the three-month period ending Sept. 30, compared with $420-million, or 83 cents a share, during the same 1993 period.

PINELLAS COMMUNITY BANK. The Largo bank said its earnings for the third quarter rose to $174,000 from $136,000 in the same period of 1993. The bank, with offices in Largo and Belleair Bluffs, has assets of $62.6-million.


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

3855.30 97.13 8.04

-36.00 -0.06 +0.07