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Nation

DOW SNAPS LOSING STREAK: Blue-chip stocks halted a week-long slump, recording modest gains in quiet trading before key economic data due today. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 52.56 to 8,951.52, halting a five-session, 285-point slide. The broad market outperformed the blue-chip sector for a second day.

TREASURY AUCTION: Yields on five-year Treasury notes rose Wednesday to the highest level in six months. The high yield was 5.795 percent, up from 5.620 percent at the last auction March 25. The notes will carry a coupon interest rate of 5} percent. A total of $11-billion in notes were sold out of bids totaling $26.2-billion.

Tampa Bay/State

EX-CHAIRMAN OPPOSED MOVE: Former Knight Ridder board chairman Alvah Chapman was on the losing end of a board vote Tuesday to move the publishing company's headquarters from Miami to California. The vote was not made public, but Chapman confirmed that he opposed the move led by his successor, P. Anthony Ridder, and even researched legal options for opposing the move by the owners of the Miami Herald. "It's a very painful decision. For that pain to be inflicted on employees, I think there has to be some corresponding benefit for the company," said Chapman, long a leading Miami civic booster. "I just couldn't make it come out even."

TAMPA BUILDING TO BE RAZED: A seven-story office building in downtown Tampa owned by Empire State Collateral Corp. of New York will be torn down and replaced with a parking garage. The new garage at 600 N Franklin St. could hold up to 400 cars, capacity needed to handle employees from the new federal courthouse building located nearby.

_ Compiled from Times staff, wire and Bloomberg News reports.

Correction

The NationsBank branch at 3739 49th St. N in St. Petersburg is closing. An incorrect address was published Tuesday.

New home sales dip

New home sales fell 5 percent in March, retreating after healthy gains the previous two months. Even with the March decrease, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 828,000 homes, sales for the first three months were 3.8 percent higher than the same period of 1997. Sales have been supported by low mortgage rates and strong income growth. "This is a pause," said William Sullivan, an economist at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in New York. "The fundamentals for housing remain excellent."

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