Originally created 12/10/97

Additional business news



Tech stocks drag market down

NEW YORK -- Technology stocks led the market lower Tuesday as a weak profit report from software company Oracle fanned worries about how well U.S. companies will weather the economic turmoil in Asia.

The technology-laden Nasdaq composite index suffered the heaviest damage, falling nearly 2 percent as investors chafed at the latest profit report from Oracle, released after Monday's close.

Southern Co. wants Asia units

ATLANTA -- Southern Co., undaunted by Asia's fiscal crises, is scouring the region for electric power projects to assure growth of its Hong Kong-based subsidiary.

Since the Atlanta-based utility holding company cemented its control over Consolidated Electric Power Asia, acquired Jan. 29 for $2.3 billion, it has sought power plants that may be sold off as troubled Asian companies abandon utility investments.

Hasbro to lay off 2,500

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- Hasbro Inc. said Tuesday it will eliminate about 2,500 jobs, or 20 percent of its worldwide work force, and stop making some products as it tries to become more profitable.

The nation's second largest toy maker said it will close a factory in New Zealand along with other "under-utilized facilities" in coming months.

Philip Morris to lay off 2,500

NEW YORK -- Philip Morris Cos. announced Tuesday it will cut 2,500 jobs in a restructuring of its international food business.

Spokesman Nicholas M. Rolli said the job cuts would amount to 8 percent of the worldwide food business work force, or about 2 percent of Philip Morris as a whole. It expects annual savings from the restructuring to approach $200 million by 2000.

Bank merger approved

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Justice Department cleared the takeover of Barnett Banks Inc. by NationsBank Corp. on Tuesday, provided $4.1 billion in deposits and 127 branches are sold to meet antitrust concerns.