Originally created 07/20/00

Business briefs



Dejected investors spur market drop

NEW YORK - Stock prices tumbled Wednesday as disappointed investors vented their wrath on a slew of technology companies whose second-quarter financial results fell short of high expectations.

The Nasdaq composite index fell 121.54 to close at 4,055.63. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 43.84 at 10,696.08. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was down 11.78 at 1,481.96.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 3-to-2 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 1.1 billion shares, down from Tuesday.

Trade deficit hits 21-month high

WASHINGTON - America's trade deficit climbed to a record $31 billion in May as crude oil imports rose to their highest level in 21 months.

The deficit widened a bit more than expected, rising 1.8 percent in May from April's $30.5 billion shortfall, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Total imports of goods and services edged down by 0.3 percent in May to $116.8 billion. But exports fell by 1 percent, to $85.7 billion. It was the second month in a row in which both imports and exports declined.

Coke unfazed by earnings drop

ATLANTA - Coca-Cola Co. reported a 2 percent drop in second-quarter earnings, but robust overseas sales helped the beverage giant exceed analysts' forecasts.

Coke said Wednesday it earned $926 million for the three months ended June 30, or 37 cents per share. In the same period last year, Coke earned $942 million, or 38 cents per share.