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Business Highlights,

Posted: Thursday, November 09, 2000

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea's Daewoo Motor Co., teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, got a one-day reprieveTuesday as did creditors trying to negotiate the sale of the ailing car maker to General Motors Corp.

Creditors said if Daewoo goes bankrupt, it is expected to be put under court receivership -- a procedure that will install new management and freeze all debts. Daewoo's 250 main subcontractors could collapse in a chain reaction. And the possible selloff of Daewoo Motor to General Motors would likely be delayed.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Computer chip maker Transmeta Corp.'s stock more than doubled in its market debut Tuesday as eager investors scrambled to buy a piece in the latest Silicon Valley company promising to revolutionize the world.

After opening at $44.88 on the Nasdaq Stock Market, Transmeta's shares climbed as high as $50.88 before easing back to close Tuesday at $45.25. Just under 26 million shares exchanged hands under the symbol, ''TMTA.'' Santa Clara-based Transmeta priced 13 million shares at $21 apiece late Monday, raising $273 million.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Supreme Court justices voiced skepticism Tuesday about ordering the federal government to change decades of clean-air policy and begin considering compliance costs in setting nationwide air-quality standards.

A lawyer for industry groups asked the justices to rule that federal Clean Air Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency to weigh the cost of reducing harmful emissions against the benefits of improved air quality.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans reduced their borrowing in September as they cut back on the use of credit cards and auto loans amid a slowing economy.

The Federal Reserve said Tuesday that consumer credit increased by a seasonally adjusted $6.5 billion in September, or 5.2 percent at an annual rate, the slowest pace since October 1999.

Consumer credit in August grew by $12.3 billion, or at a 10.1 percent rate, according to revised figures. That was less than the $13.4 billion the central bank previously estimated.

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Publishing heavyweight Random House Inc. announced Tuesday it will split revenues from electronic books evenly with authors, a change that could shape a heated industry debate over digital technology.

Random House, the largest English language publisher, said it will pay authors 50 percent of the revenues it generates from the sale of e-books, a miniscule market but one that is expected to boom in coming years. Authors currently earn 15 percent of an e-book's list price.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. acknowledged Tuesday offering free replacement tires for some consumers but denied it was part of a practice known as a ''silent recall.''

The Los Angeles Times, citing unidentified sources, reported Tuesday that Goodyear has received more than 3,000 claims since 1995 about its light-truck tires. Most of those claims have been settled, with consumers receiving replacement tires and reimbursements for vehicle damage.

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Pets.com is being put to sleep.

The San Francisco-based online retailer, known for its commercials with a sock puppet dog and the slogan ''Because pets can't drive'' -- said Tuesday it is closing down after failing to find a financial backer or buyer.

Pets.com said it is laying off 255 of its 320 employees and plans to sell the majority of its assets, including inventory, its distribution center equipment, its Web site address and its Sock Puppet brand.

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LONDON (AP) -- Profits are down again at Marks & Spencer PLC, Britain's best-known retail chain, and the company is struggling to find the right mix of innovation and old-time values to ensure its survival, its chief executive says.

''If we want to have a long-term future, we know that we have to deliver results soon,'' chief executive Luc Vandevelde told a news conference Tuesday. ''We have not yet got our core business right.''

Vandevelde's blunt talk suggests that M&S, which owns the Brooks Brothers clothing chain, has at least identified its problems and is taking action to solve them. The results are starting to show.

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By The Associated Press

Stocks meandered in light trading and then closed little changed Tuesday as investors held their bets to await direction from a cliffhanger presidential election. Blue chips fluctuated in and out of positive territory as financial, defense and health care stocks gave back some of their gains from Monday. Technology stocks were volatile for a second day, pulled lower by concerns related to Cisco Systems.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 25.03 at 10,952.18 after hovering in a 70-point range for much of the day. The Nasdaq composite index ended the day virtually unchanged, off 0.42 at 3,415.79, also trading within a 70-point span.

Crude oil and products futures rose sharply at the New York Mercantile Exchange Tuesday, bolstered by reports that Iraq had halted exports from its Ceyhan port in Turkey for up to 24 hours. After markets closed, industry data showed that U.S. inventories of crude remained basically unchanged from a week ago, but still about 10 percent below year-ago levels.

December crude was up 54 cents to $33.40 a barrel and December natural gas picked up 23.2 cents to $5.081 per 1,000 cubic feet.



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