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Times expanding mutual fund report, Saturday section

Changes designed to improve the Times business section and expand its mutual fund report are coming this weekend.

Every Sunday, we will offer extensive mutual fund listings and additional news coverage on those hugely popular investments. In addition to the usual information, readers will get year-to-date and three-year percentage return, along with one- and three-year rankings of funds within their investment objectives.

Meanwhile, the weekly stock and bond summaries that have been appearing on Sunday will come a day earlier, as part of an expanded Saturday business section.

The new weekly stock wrapup will include both Friday's market information and the weekly information, such as weekly high, weekly low and weekly change.

Also, the daily stock tables Tuesday through Friday are being improved. Starting July 6, daily mutual funds will appear on one page instead of two. And guides to reading the tables will appear with both the daily and weekend listings.

Why all these changes?

Interest in mutual funds has exploded since the beginning of the bull market on Wall Street in 1982. That year, stock and bond mutual funds had total assets of $77-billion. By last year, that figure had grown twentyfold to $1.6-trillion.

Our goal in all these changes is simple: to give readers more timely and useful market information.

A reminder: Updated information on every U.S. stock and fund is available around the clock on TimesLine, the Times' free telephone information service. Instructions on how to use it are printed in the business section every day.