Dow falls after week of record highs
NEW YORK -- Investors who drove blue-chip stocks to record highs this week paused to take profits Thursday, knocking the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 120 points. Technology stocks once again outperformed the rest of the market.
The Dow fell 127.59 to close at 11,198.45.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 3-to-2 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where composite volume totaled 866.33 million shares, compared with 1.04 billion the previous session.
Rite-Aid plans material changes
PHILADELPHIA -- The rumored merger or downsizing of Rite Aid Corp. may be just the prescription the ailing pharmacy chain needs after a year of disappointing earnings and overaggressive growth, some analysts said Thursday.
The nation's third-largest pharmacy chain, whose stock soared 17 percent Wednesday amid such rumors, has said it is discussing "possible corporate transactions that, if consummated, would be material."
On Thursday, the stock closed down $1.50 at $21.37 1/2 on the New York Stock Exchange.
MetLife to buy General American
ST. LOUIS -- Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. will acquire the troubled General American Life Insurance Co. and its subsidiaries in a deal worth $1.2 billion.
The deal announced Thursday means a resolution to the liquidity crisis that has threatened General American since late last month, when Moody's Investors Service lowered its ratings of the insurer's debt. At that time, 37 big institutional investors, mainly pension and money market funds, demanded repayment totaling $5 billion from General American.
MetLife, based in New York, is the nation's second-largest insurance company, with $357 billion in assets.
Toys R Us chief resigns
NEW YORK -- Toys R Us Inc. Chief Executive Officer Robert Nakasone abruptly resigned Thursday, effective immediately, the toy retailer said in a statement.
The Paramus, N.J.-based toy company named Chairman Michael Goldstein as acting chief executive. Mr. Goldstein formerly served as the company's CEO. The surprise announcement came eight days after the company reported disappointing second-quarter earnings amid a vast restructuring plan.
On Thursday, shares of Toys R Us rose 50 cents, to $16, on the New York Stock Exchange.
Tarses quits ABC programming
LOS ANGELES -- ABC programming executive Jamie Tarses, whose three-year tenure started out rocky, has resigned, the network said Thursday.
Ms. Tarses was the first woman to serve as programming president at one of the three major broadcast networks.