NETSCAPE STOCK DIVES: Shares in Netscape Communications Corp. fell Monday after the New York Times published a front-page article about the Internet software development efforts of rival Microsoft Corp. Amid a broader selloff of technology issues, Netscape closed down $6.50 to $46.50, a 12 percent decline, on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
TREASURY YIELDS FALL: Interest rates on short-term Treasury securities fell in Monday's auction to the lowest level in three weeks. The Treasury Department sold $13.6-billion in three-month bills at an average discount rate of 5.14 percent, down from 5.19 percent last week. Another $13.6-billion was sold in six-month bills at an average rate of 5.30 percent, down from 5.36 percent. The new discount rates understate the actual return to investors _ 5.28 percent for three-month bills and 5.52 percent for a six-month bill. In a separate report, the Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills fell to 5.80 percent last week from 5.90 percent the previous week.
DEFICIT NARROWS: The federal government posted a $34.1-billion surplus in June, helping to reduce the fiscal 1996 deficit so far by 40 percent below a year ago and setting course for a fourth straight annual decline. The Treasury Department said Monday the gap between revenues and expenditures totaled $75-billion since the fiscal year began last Oct. 1, compared with $123.7-billion during the first nine months of fiscal 1995. But even with the size of the annual deficits going down, each year's red ink adds to the total national debt. That debt currently stands at $5.08-trillion.
HOME OWNERSHIP UP: About 700,000 individuals and families became new U.S. homeowners during the April-June quarter, boosting the number to a record 66.1-million. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry G. Cisneros said Monday that the 0.3 percent increase resulted in a 65.4 percent homeownership rate, a 15-year high.
BERTHA DAMAGES TALLIED: Hurricane Bertha wreaked $135-million in losses on insured property along the U.S. East Coast, according to the latest insurance industry estimate. The American Insurance Services Group Inc., a Rahway, New Jersey-based trade association, expects 80,000 claims. The damage tally is far less than that of Hurricane Andrew, which struck Florida and Louisiana in August 1992 causing $16.5-billion in damage and legal costs.
DORFMAN FILES REPORT: CNBC financial commentator Dan Dorfman filed his first report Monday since suffering a mild stroke in May, but his words were read by an anchor and he did not appear on air. Dorfman, 65, is recovering at home and undergoing physical therapy. Dorfman has been a controversial figure over the years, moving markets with his raspy commentaries.
ENRON BUYS UTILITY: Energy marketer Enron Corp. said it will buy Portland General Corp. for $2.1-billion in stock, creating the nation's largest combined electric and natural gas utility. Enron, based in Houston, is one of the biggest sellers of natural gas and wholesale electricity in North America. Portland General is a low-cost electric utility serving 657,000 retail customers in northwest Oregon as well as wholesale electricity customers across the country.
CARNIVAL ORDERS SHIPS: Miami-based Carnival Corp. on Monday said it placed orders with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri Centieri Navali Italiana for two new cruise ships for its Holland America Line. The $600-million order is for 1999 delivery. Carnival, which now has 24 ships, has five other ships on order.
PRUDENTIAL SUED AGAIN: A Tampa couple is suing Prudential Insurance Co. of America in Hillsborough County Circuit Court over the company's sales practices. Lawrence and Maria Almeda say Prudential salesman Robert Drabik deceived them in pitching life insurance. Prudential faces a raft of lawsuits _ both locally and nationally _ over deceptive sales practices.
DOW DOLLAR YIELD
30 INDUSTRIALS VS. JAPANESE YEN 30-YEAR U.S. BOND
5390.94 107.44 7.00
-35.88 -0.51 +0.02