Originally created 09/06/00

Business briefs



Trading grows heavy in drug, tech stocks

NEW YORK - A poor outlook for technology and pharmaceutical stocks prompted heavy selling in those sectors Tuesday, the only notable activity in an otherwise lackluster session.

The Nasdaq composite index fell 91.15, to 4,143.18, giving back nearly half its 191-point gain of last week. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 21.83 at 11,260.61.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a small margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 836.26 million.

WorldCom reaches deal with firms

JACKSON, Miss. - WorldCom Inc. has agreed to pay $3 billion in stock to acquire Intermedia Communications Inc. and a controlling stake in Digex Inc., a leading operator of computer centers that run Web sites.

The deal is WorldCom's first since its failed foray into wireless communications through a planned merger with Sprint Corp. and its PCS unit.

Sales projection boosts Coke stock

ATLANTA - Shares of the Coca-Cola Co. rose more than 4 percent Tuesday after the company announced it is on track to increase sales 5 to 6 percent this year and an additional 6 to 7 percent next year.

The Atlanta-based soft-drink giant also said it was comfortable with Wall Street's current third-quarter and full-year earnings projections. Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial estimate Coca-Cola will earn 41 cents per share in the quarter ending Sept. 30. For the year, earnings are pegged at $1.45 a share.

Regulators scrutinize mammoth deal

WASHINGTON - Antitrust regulators are seeking assurances that the proposed merger of America Online and Time Warner won't hinder how consumers get the next generation of Internet and entertainment services.

The Federal Trade Commission, one of the agencies reviewing the $129 billion deal, has raised red flags about the combined company's distribution of fast online services over Time Warner's expansive cable systems - the second-largest in the country. But federal officials are concerned that AOL rivals would be unable to get access to Time Warner's cable systems to offer consumers other choices for Internet service. FTC attorneys are prepared to block the proposed merger unless the companies agree to let competing services use their high-speed cable lines, according to sources.