RATES, ECONOMY WORRY MARKET. Stocks fell in volatile trading Tuesday as market players reacted to conflicting reports on the economy and worried about the direction of interest rates. Technology shares, concentrated in the Nasdaq Stock Market, took the soundest beating in the market's third consecutive retreat.
TREASURY YIELDS FALL. Yields on two-year Treasury notes fell in Tuesday's auction to the lowest level in more than a year. The high yield was 5.69 percent, down from 6.17 percent at the last auction on May 23. The notes will carry a coupon interest rate of 5| percent. A total of $17.75-billion in notes was sold out of bids totaling $42.3-billion.
Confidence surveys go opposite ways
Consumer confidence in the economy plunged in June, suffering the biggest monthly fall in three years, according to a widely followed national survey released Tuesday.
Although remaining relatively high, the survey by the Conference Board showed a third straight decline, falling 9.2 points to 92.8. Fabian Linden, executive director of the business-research group, said the level of consumer confidence remains relatively high historically, though "the magnitude of the (recent) decline is somewhat disconcerting."
In Florida, however, a similar survey suggested an improved outlook for the first time since March. The University of Florida's consumer confidence index rose nearly 4 percent to 91.
UF economist Dick Scoggins speculated that the national survey was lagging behind some recent signs of renewed economic activity.
"I think we caught the upturn first," he said, noting that the announcement of a fourth theme park at Walt Disney World, improved housing sales and other recent signs of economic growth may have brightened consumers' outlook.
BAR ASSOCIATION SETTLES CHARGES. The American Bar Association settled charges Tuesday that its law school accreditation practices had been abused to artificially inflate faculty salaries and fringe benefits, the Justice Department said. The department's lawsuit charged the Chicago-based lawyers' group used its power as the law school accrediting agency to illegally protect the economic interests and working conditions of faculty members. The ABA did not admit any wrongdoing.
AIRLINES TO SHARE SERVICE. Continental Airlines and Air Canada, in a move that further solidifies their 2-year-old alliance, agreed to share service on 34 flights daily between the United States and Canada, according to Bloomberg Business News. Continental said the recently signed "Open Skies" agreement between the United States and Canada made the alliance possible and has led to a scramble by airlines on both sides of the border to serve cities that had been out of reach.
PHARMACEUTICAL MERGER GETS TENTATIVE OKAY. A German pharmaceutical company may buy Marion Merrell Dow Inc., a U.S. competitor, but cannot take over its operations until the Federal Trade Commission investigates whether the deal would violate antitrust laws. The FTC, in allowing the purchase by Hoechst Corp., said Tuesday it was retaining the ability to impose whatever remedy is needed to protect consumers' rights.
SHIPYARD PURCHASE APPROVED. A federal bankruptcy judge Tuesday approved the purchase of Tampa Shipyards Inc. by Delphi American Maritime Inc. in a deal ultimately valued at about $23-million. The Tampa Port Authority must still approve the deal, which involves the transfer of Tampa Shipyards' long-term port leases. Delphi has agreed to pay $5-million in cash for Tampa Shipyards and to assume $16-million in outstanding bond payments that Tampa Shipyards owes the port. Delphi is a newly formed subsidiary of Greek shipping company Forum Maritime S.A.
PUBLICATION CHANGING NAME. The Pinellas County Review is changing its name to Warfield's Tampa Bay Review and changing its publication schedule from twice weekly to weekly. The Clearwater-based newspaper specializes in legal, business and real estate news, with a focus on Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties. The Review also plans to expand its electronic publishing activities, available free to computer users at http://www.review.net on the Internet.
DOW 30 INDUSTRIALS 4542.61 -8.64
DOLLAR JAPANESE YEN 84.18 -0.22
YIELD 30-YEAR U.S. BOND 6.54 unch.