Business Highlights,

Posted: Friday, December 08, 2000

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Intel Corp., joining the increasingly pessimistic chorus from high-tech businesses, warned Thursday that fourth-quarter revenue will fall short of projections because of poor computer sales worldwide.

Intel said that because several large orders have been canceled, revenue will be flat from the previous quarter, down from earlier expectations of a 4 percent to 8 percent increase.

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NEW YORK (AP) -- The owner of the nation's top Spanish-language television network, Univision Communications Inc., is buying the television stations of USA Networks Inc., the media company headed by Barry Diller, for $1.1 billion.

The cash deal, announced Thursday, would give Univision 13 TV stations and USA Network's minority stakes in four other stations. Diller said separately he had been ''overly ambitious'' about his plans for the station group.

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CHICAGO (AP) -- Motorola Inc. warned Thursday of falling sales and profits for the second time in two months, hurt by both the technology slump and its continuing struggles in the cell phone industry it once led.

The gloomy outlook for the giant cell phone and chip maker jolted the high-tech market, contributing to a broad selloff as Motorola joined a growing list of tech firms announcing they expect to disappoint investors.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Just weeks before he'll have to give up Air Force One and fly commercial like everyone else, President Clinton took steps on Thursday to end frustrating flight delays.

Clinton issued an executive order that shifts responsibility for the nation's air traffic control system to an independent management unit, called the Air Traffic Organization, within the Federal Aviation Administration.

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Consumer electronics retailing giant Best Buy Co. has signed an agreement to acquire Musicland Stores Corp. for about $425 million.

The agreement announced Thursday will give Best Buy entree into more than 1,300 retail outlets that Musicland operates under the names Sam Goody, Suncoast, Mediaplay and On Cue. Musicland also operates four commercial Web sites.

The cash deal values Musicland's common stock at $12.55 per share, and Best Buy would also assume $260 million in debt.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The lame-duck Senate on Thursday sent President Clinton a bankruptcy overhaul bill he has promised to veto because he believes it would hurt working families that fall on hard times.

Senators, by a 70-28 veto-proof vote for the bipartisan legislation, approved the most sweeping bankruptcy law changes in 20 years, making it harder for people to erase credit card and other debts in court. Supporters have pushed for the changes over the past three years.

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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- DaimlerChrysler AG will ask its suppliers to reduce their prices, as the troubled automaker looks to cut costs by nearly $6 billion at its Chrysler group.

Chrysler executives said they were making the moves to prepare themselves and their suppliers for an economic downtown that was hitting the U.S. market and to turn around the losses Chrysler suffered in the third quarter.

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- California edged toward an unprecedented energy crisis Thursday as hundreds of companies were ordered to cut back on electricity use and officials warned of the possibility of rolling blackouts.

The power crunch -- which hit before winter had even begun -- has been blamed on cold weather in the Northwest, the shutdown of some power plants for repairs, and the effects of utility deregulation in California.

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The bewildering federal income tax system should be replaced with something simpler and far less burdensome, a coalition of interest groups and two senior House Republicans said Thursday. Like previous such efforts, this one faces an uphill fight.

The 19 organizations that form the Coalition for Fundamental Tax Reform favor different solutions ranging from a flat, single-rate income tax applied equally to all taxpayers to the replacement of the income tax with a national sales tax.

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DETROIT (AP) -- GM, Ford Motor Co., and DaimlerChrysler AG have formed a new Internet company to speed the sales of replacement parts from dealerships to repair shops, with the goal of grabbing a larger share of the parts market.

The unnamed company is far smaller in scope right now than Covisint, formed by a larger group of automakers to handle what is expected to be nearly $300 billion in purchases annually.

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By The Associated Press

Earnings worries ignited another selloff on Wall Street Thursday after Goldman Sachs lowered its forecast for Microsoft and two other high-tech firms became the latest companies to predict disappointing results.

A warning from Intel after the market closed raised the possibility of more selling Friday, although analysts were unsure how much of a surprise the news was. And Intel actually rose 31 cents to $32.63 in after-hours trading, while other tech stocks showed no significant declines.

The price of crude oil fell to its lowest level in four months at the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday as recent supply-related jitters seem to have disappeared.

Heating oil futures, which also closed lower, still remain relatively high, though, because of cold weather forecasts and support from natural gas futures, which have been posting record highs.

In other commodities, rumors that China may become a serious competitor in the world market sent corn futures at the Chicago Board of trade tumbling to new monthly lows Thursday.



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