Originally created 12/07/00

Business briefs



Earnings warning negates Dow gains

NEW YORK - Stocks turned abruptly lower Wednesday when an earnings warning from Bank of America incited a wave of selling that wiped out much of Tuesday's big advance in the Dow industrials.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 234.34 to close Wednesday at 10,664.38. That obliterated a big chunk of the Dow's 338-point gain Tuesday. The Nasdaq composite index lost 93.30 to end at 2,796.50.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers 5 to 3 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume was 1.36 billion shares, down from Tuesday's 1.38 billion.

Augusta plant wins recycling honor

Augusta's Evergreen Nylon Recycling plant was named Recycler of the Year by the Society of Plastics Engineers during a recent conference in Dearborn, Mich., beating out 35 other companies.

Evergreen, a joint venture between DSM Chemicals and Honeywell International Inc., converts used carpets into caprolactam, the raw material used to make Nylon 6. The synthetic material is used to make carpet, engineered plastics, auto parts and specialty films.

The $100 million facility opened November 1999. It was developed by DSM and AlliedSignal, which later became Honeywell. The venture will be owned by DSM and General Electric after GE's planned acquisition of Honeywell later this year.

Judge slashes First Union award

PHILADELPHIA - A judge has slashed to $55.8 million a $352.8 million verdict handed down over the summer against First Union Corp.

Common Pleas Judge Gene Cohen, who presided over the trial, ruled Monday that the $337.5 million punitive-damage portion of the award was excessive and cut it to $40.5 million.

During the trial, CoreStates Bank, now owned by First Union, was accused of seizing and refusing to return $1.7 million that belonged to Pioneer Commercial Funding Corp. of New York, a mortgage lender.

AltaVista cuts free Net access

NEW YORK - Online search portal AltaVista on Sunday will cut off 3 million users from its free Internet access service, the latest sign that freebies over the Web do not always pay.

The announcement comes after a host of smaller free Internet service providers shut down earlier this year and as Kmart-owned BlueLight.com said Monday it will be re-evaluating its current, unlimited free service after the holidays.

IMF gives Turkey emergency loan

ANKARA, Turkey - The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday agreed to grant Turkey $7.5 billion in emergency loans to put an end to weeks of financial turmoil.

The amount exceeded expectations and sent Turkey's stock market soaring 18 percent - on top of a nearly 20 percent jump the day before. At one point Wednesday, the market rose so quickly that trading was halted.

IMF Director Horst Kohler said the agency fully supported Turkey and would grant the nation $7.5 billion in loans in addition to $2.9 billion promised under an agreement signed in January.