Originally created 10/03/00

Business briefs



Economy questions create mixed finish

NEW YORK - Stock prices were mixed Monday as investors worried about corporate profits and the moderating economy once again unloaded technology issues.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 49.21 at 10,700.13. The Nasdaq composite index fell 103.92 to 3,568.90.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers by a 7-to-5 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 770.96 million shares, compared to 786.10 million in the previous session.

Lucent's spinoff sees big start

NEW YORK - This past weekend, exactly four years after AT&T gave birth to Lucent Technologies through the spinoff of its communications equipment business, a third generation was born as Lucent officially spun off the part that makes office telephone systems, creating an independent company named Avaya.

Avaya begins life as a publicly traded company with 30,000 employees, nearly 1 million customers in 90 countries, and about $7.5 billion in annual revenues - large enough for Standard & Poor's to grant immediate membership in the S&P 500 index of the biggest U.S. companies.

Wal-Mart announces expansion

BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, plans to open more than 300 stores worldwide next year in one of the company's most ambitious expansion plans.

The Bentonville-based company said Monday it plans to add its traditional discount stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Market grocery stores, and Sam's Club discount warehouse stores in the United States or in countries where it currently does business.

Next year, Wal-Mart will open about 40 new discount stores and 170 to 180 Supercenters in the United States.

Credit firm will divide operations

ATLANTA - Equifax, one of the nation's three major credit bureaus, will split itself into two independent companies, aiming to make its operations easier to understand and its stock more attractive to investors.

The company said Monday it will spin its payment services division off from information services by next summer.

Each company will have headquarters in Atlanta, with its own management team, board of directors, sales force, payroll and market strategy, said Tom Chapman, Equifax's chairman and chief executive.