Originally created 09/16/99

Business briefs: Industrial average tumbles 1 percent



The Dow Jones industrial average fell 108.91 points Wednesday, or 1 percent, to close at 10,801.42. The index had tumbled from an early gain of 103 points, with the selloff gathering momentum in the final trading hour.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 3-to-2 margin on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume totaled 779.58 million shares.

Inflation rate falls to new low

WASHINGTON -- Falling costs for clothing, computers, airline tickets and new cars pushed the core inflation rate to 1.9 percent, the lowest level in 33 years, the government reported. But many economists said they still expect the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates Oct. 5 for a third time this year.

Automaker plans billions for cars

FRANKFURT, Germany -- DaimlerChrys-ler plans to invest more than $49 billion by 2001 to develop new technologies that would set it apart in the fiercely competitive auto market, the co-chairmen of the company said Wednesday. The automaker plans to introduce 64 new passenger cars and commercial vehicle models worldwide by 2004.

Food companies discuss merger

NEW YORK -- H.J. Heinz Co., the maker of Heinz Ketchup, and Bestfoods, the maker of Hellman's mayonnaise, are discussing a deal that would create the nation's second-biggest food company, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. A deal would give the merged company combined sales of $17.7 billion.

Dime Bancorp to acquire Hudson

NEW YORK -- Dime Bancorp Inc. is acquiring Hudson United Bancorp for $1.58 billion to create one of the largest regional banks in the Northeast, with $32 billion in assets, the companies announced Wednesday.

AT&T wants price war, not jobs

NEW YORK -- AT&T wants to cut jobs so it can wage a revenue-draining price war in long-distance and press ahead with its expensive bet on using cable TV wires for Internet and telephone service.

The nation's largest long-distance and cable company said Wednesday it froze hiring about a month ago to help meet those challenges, which come on top of a pledge AT&T made in April to cut $2 billion in expenses by the end of next year.