Originally created 01/18/01

Business briefs



Tech stocks rise; worries limit gains

NEW YORK - Investors went on a technology buying spree Wednesday, but retreated on second thoughts about the market's actual strength in a decelerating economy. The Nasdaq composite index ended the day with a moderate gain, but blue chips closed lower.

The Nasdaq closed up 64.24 at 2,682.79. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 68.32 to 10,584.34.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners 13 to 11 on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume came to 1.32 billion shares, ahead of the 1.19 billion reported Tuesday.

CNN revamps structure, cuts jobs

NEW YORK - In its biggest shake-up since being founded 21 years ago, CNN is revamping its news-gathering structure, cutting 400 jobs and appointing three senior news executives. Struggling with a ratings slump, the network is gearing up for life under the newly created AOL-Time Warner media empire.

Wednesday's announcement comes less than a week after CNN parent Time Warner closed its merger with AOL. It will concentrate CNN's sprawling news operations under a central authority to coordinate coverage for its TV outlets and associated Web sites.

"This is the first time ... that we've conducted such an extensive reevaluation of our infrastructure," CNN Chairman Tom Johnson said. Included will be the creation of a "super desk" in CNN's Atlanta headquarters that will make assignments spanning its 34 TV, radio and Internet news outlets.

About one-third of the layoffs, or about 10 percent of CNN's work force, will affect Internet-related employees. Another third will affect programming, and the rest will be spread throughout the company.

CNN also is making a number of changes to its programming lineup, including cancellation of business shows Movers, Your Money, Entrepreneurs Only and Street Sweep.

Low GM earnings beat forecasts

DETROIT - General Motors Corp.'s fourth-quarter earnings dropped sharply, reflecting softness in North American auto sales. But the results still beat Wall Street expectations.

The world's largest automaker earned $609 million, or $1.15 a share, before one-time items in the three-month period, compared to $1.3 billion, or $1.95 a share, excluding one-time items in the fourth quarter of 1999.

The latest results exclude special charges, including $939 million for GM's planned phase-out of the Oldsmobile brand and $713 million for capacity reductions in North American and European operations.