Originally created 01/03/01

Business briefs



Markets begin new year with losses

NEW YORK - Wall Street started 2001 on a sour note, unnerved by the same problems that sent the market plunging last year.

The Nasdaq composite index fell 7.2 percent as investors, anxious about the slowing economy and its effect on corporate profits, again unloaded technology issues. Similar concerns also sent blue chips down sharply. The losses extended a trend that made 2000 the worst year ever for the Nasdaq and the weakest in nearly two decades for the Dow Jones industrials.

"Even though the market has come down a lot, the short-term news doesn't look positive, so you're not seeing new money coming in off the sidelines," said Robert Harrington, head of listed equity trading at UBS Warburg. "Investors are reluctant to commit. They are genuinely concerned about the slowdown in the economy, and the bad news doesn't give them a reason to act any differently."

Declining issues led advancers 3-to-2 on the New York Stock Exchange, where volume came to 1.10 billion shares, compared with 1.02 billion Friday.

Boeing sees drop in deliveries

SEATTLE - Boeing Co. delivered 489 commercial jets to customers in 2000, the company announced Tuesday.

Deliveries included 130 jetliners in the fourth quarter. In 1999, Boeing delivered a record 620 planes, including 165 in the fourth quarter.

Company recalls infant bath toys

KENTWOOD, Mich. - Because they pose a possible choking hazard to infants, Sassy Inc. has recalled about 370,000 squirting fish found in the company's Scoop Pour 'N Squirt and Bath Time Pals bath toys, a federal agency says.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said the size, texture, shape and easy compressibility of the fish make it possible for infants to compress the toys and place them in their mouths. If the toys reach the back of the mouth and expand, they may block the children's airways.

The commission said consumers should immediately throw away the squirting fish. Additional information and replacement squirt toys are available by calling (800) 764-8323.