Originally created 05/11/00

Business briefs: Chairman seeks new auditing rules



NEW YORK -- Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt said Wednesday that the SEC will draft new rules to help prevent conflicts of interest between auditors and the companies they review for financial integrity.

In recent years, many of the big auditing firms that also audit companies for financial integrity have expanded their businesses to include lucrative consulting services that help companies operate more efficiently, causing potential conflicts of interest.

Nike introduces high-tech gear

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Sneaker and sportswear marketer Nike Inc. is diversifying into high-tech sports gear to offer devices for athletes such as a digital audio player and heart rate monitors.

The athletic-shoe maker said Wednesday it has created a division called Nike Techlab after several years of study.

Nike said four other products would be in stores for the Christmas shopping season, including real-time speed-distance and heart rate monitoring devices, a digital compass and hand-held sport communication products.

K-tel could leave Nasdaq listing

PLYMOUTH, Minn. -- Music retailer K-tel International might be delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market because it doesn't meet certain minimum requirements.

The company no longer meets the minimum $50 million market capitalization or total assets and total revenue requirements for continued listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Dreyfus agrees to settlement

NEW YORK -- Mutual fund company Dreyfus Corp. said Wednesday it has agreed to pay $950,000 to settle charges related to the first year performance figures of its Aggressive Growth Fund.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York attorney general's office charged that the fund's first-year returns were inflated through the purchase of new stocks of companies that were completing initial public offerings.

Janus closes three mutual funds

DENVER -- Money manager Janus has closed three of its top-selling mutual funds to new investors because so much cash is pouring in that its managers can't invest it the way they want.

Janus on Tuesday closed the $42 billion Worldwide Fund; the $8 billion Olympus Fund, which invests in large, fast-growing U.S. companies; and the $3 billion Global Life Sciences Fund, which specializes in health-care companies. Seven of Janus' 15 equity funds are now closed to new investors.