Originally created 05/28/98

Business briefs



Stock market has major comeback

NEW YORK -- Stocks mounted a dramatic rebound Wednesday, erasing most of a 175-point plunge that pushed prices so low that bargain hunters shrugged off the global economic troubles that triggered the selling.

The Dow Jones industrial average briefly tumbled below 8,800 for the first time since April 1, but rallied back over the final 90 minutes to finish at 8,936.57, just 27.16 points short of Tuesday's finish.

The Dow, a barometer of 30 major American companies such as General Electric and Disney, has fallen four straight sessions, losing about 235 points, but still boasts a gain of about 1,000 points, or 13 percent, for the year.

ADM agrees to pay $11 million

DECATUR, Ill. -- Archer Daniels Midland Co. agreed Wednesday to pay $11 million to the Canadian government to resolve a price-fixing case.

The agribusiness giant pleaded guilty in Canadian federal court to a three-count indictment alleging it used anti-competitive conduct in relation to the sale of lysine and citric acid, said ADM spokeswoman Karla Miller.

Lysine is widely used in feed for poultry and hogs. Citric acid is used in a variety of processed foods and beverages.

In October 1996, ADM pleaded guilty in the United States to federal criminal charges of price-fixing for lysine and citric acid and agreed to pay $100 million, then the largest criminal antitrust fine in history. The Decatur-based company has paid millions more to settle civil lawsuits.

Lubricant maker to be bought

CLEVELAND -- Lubrizol Corp. has agreed to buy a British-based maker of lubricants and fuel additives.

Terms of the deal to buy the Adibis business of BP Chemicals were not disclosed. Adibis had sales of about $150 million in 1997, Lubrizol said in announcing the deal Wednesday.

Adibis has a strong market share in Europe, Australia and South Africa, Lubrizol said. The deal should be completed by July.

Refining merger given approval

HOUSTON -- Shell Oil Co., Texaco and Saudi Aramco on Wednesday won regulatory approval to proceed with plans to combine major portions of their Eastern and Gulf Coast U.S. refining operations.

The joint venture, to be based in Houston and called Motiva Enterprises LLC, will market gasoline and other products under the Shell and Texaco brands. The company is expected to begin operations in June.

Under the deal, Shell will own 35 percent of the company, and Texaco and Saudi Refining, an affiliate of Saudi Aramco, each will own 32.5 percent.

Ford recalls Super Duty pickups

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. is recalling 103,000 new Super Duty versions of its most popular vehicle, the F-Series pickup.

The recall involves 103,000 1999 Super Duty model F-250s, F-350s, F-450s and F-550s for a problem that could result in potential steering loss, the automaker announced Wednesday.

About 12,000 of the single-rear-wheel F-350s are also being recalled, because some of them may not meet the federal safety standard for parking brakes.

No accidents or injuries have resulted from the problems, spokeswoman Karen Shaughnessy said.

One or more rivets on the steering shaft coupling may not have been properly crimped during manufacturing, according to the automaker. It received three complaints from drivers about the steering problem.

Ford received no complaints about the parking brake. That concern was discovered on a quality inspection by a supplier, Ms. Shaughnessy said.

Owners have been notified by mail, and work at dealerships will be completed free of charge.

The Super Duty pickups went on sale this year. The recall includes all the Super Duty pickups manufactured between Jan. 5 and May 19.

It was the second F-Series recall announced this month. Earlier, Ford said it was recalling 1.7 million vehicles, including some F-series pickups, because a faulty lug nut could cause the wheels to fall off.

That recall involved F-150 pickup trucks and most F-250 pickups from model years 1997 and 1998, but it did not include the F-250 Super Duty models.

The F-series pickup has been the best-selling vehicle in the country, with more than 746,000 sold in 1997.