Originally created 11/04/99

Business briefs: Nasdaq closes above 3,000 for first time



NEW YORK -- The Nasdaq composite index vaulted to its fourth-straight closing high Wednesday, finishing above 3,000 for the first time ever.

Most other stock indicators had more modest gains, as the rally failed to carry over to the broader market. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 27.22 to close at 10,609.06.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 9-to-8 margin on the New York Stock Exchange. Composite volume totaled 1.11 million shares, roughly even with the pace of the previous session.

AOL invests in video rental giant

DALLAS -- America Online Inc., the world's largest Internet service provider, will invest $30 million in Blockbuster Inc. to develop the video store's new Internet site and develop high-speed Internet services. The investment is part of a three-year marketing alliance between AOL and the Dallas-based Blockbuster.

Blockbuster, the world's leading video-rental chain, will get a spot on Dulles, Va.-based AOL's entertainment channel and the online company's 19 million subscribers. Blockbuster will advertise AOL in its stores.

Greeting card firms to combine

CLEVELAND -- American Greetings is buying Gibson Greetings for $162 million as part of a restructuring plan to gain a larger share of the U.S. greeting card market dominated by Hallmark.

The combination of the nation's second- and third-largest greeting card companies will give American Greetings about 36 percent of the market, still behind Hallmark's 47 percent. American Greetings will pay $10.25 for each of Cincinnati-based Gibson Greetings' 15.8 million shares. Both companies' boards have approved the deal, which still requires regulatory approval.