Originally created 04/24/98

Business briefs



Technology stockslead drop in market

NEW YORK -- Technology stocks led a sharp decline Thursday as some healthy profit reports from Disney and Microsoft failed to generate enough enthusiasm for another record-setting advance in a pricey market.

The Nasdaq composite index sank nearly 2 percent, halting a four-session streak of record highs, as the technology sector succumbed to profit-taking after leading this week's advance.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 33.39 points to close at 9,143.33.

While most companies have been meeting or beating Wall Street's deflated expectations for first-quarter profits, the market's increasingly rocky performance has led many analysts to conclude that a downturn may be looming.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 5-to-2 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume totaled 653.19 million shares, down from Wednesday's 695.41 million.

Plastic company to expand plant

PENDLETON, S.C. -- Mikron Corp. plans to double the size of its Anderson County plant next year, adding about 85 jobs.

The Switzerland-based company, which makes plastic components for cars, power tools and office equipment, will spend $4 million on the project at the Clemson Research Park facility.

Piccadilly to buy competitor

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Piccadilly Cafeterias Inc. will acquire one of its prime competitors, Morrison Restaurants Inc., for up to $46 million, Piccadilly said Thursday.

Baton Rouge-based Piccadilly said it will pay $5 per share for each outstanding share of Atlanta-based Morrison's stock. Morrison now has about 9.2 million shares outstanding.

DuPont to pare back nylon division

WILMINGTON, Del. -- DuPont Co. will eliminate some 500 jobs in its global nylon business, with 65 percent of the cuts being made in North America.

The announcement Thursday came the day after the chemical giant reported first quarter profits down 11 percent, largely because of one-time expenses from closing nylon production plants and employee separation costs.