Originally created 09/05/01

Business briefs



NEW YORK - Wall Street's hopes for a back-to-school turnaround fizzled Tuesday after a late-session selloff derailed an earlier 230-point rally on better-than-expected manufacturing data.

Blue chips rose minimally while technology stocks tumbled yet again, this time on losses triggered by doubts about Hewlett-Packard's $25 billion deal to buy Compaq. The failed rally was reminiscent of previous advances this year that also faltered - a trend analysts said will likely continue until the business outlook improves.

The Dow Jones industrials closed up 47.74 at 9,997.49, falling back from an earlier gain of 232 points on news of the National Association of Purchasing Management report. It was the index's third-straight session to close below 10,000.

Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 0.64 to 1,132.94, while the Nasdaq composite index dropped 34.65 to 1,770.78.

Advancing issues led decliners 8-to-7 on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume came to 1.17 billion shares, ahead of the 914.06 million traded Friday.

Procter & Gamble cut coffee prices

CINCINNATI - Procter & Gamble Co. will cut wholesale prices of its Folgers regular ground, whole-bean and decaffeinated coffee by a dime a can next month because of lower prices for the green coffee used for the blends. P&G has no direct control over retail prices. Retailers are free to decide whether to pass the cut along to customers.

Wachovia, First Union finish merger

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Wachovia Corp. and First Union Corp. have completed their long-planned $14.3 billion merger, creating the nation's fourth-largest bank and putting to rest a nasty proxy battle between First Union and Atlanta's SunTrust Banks Inc. for Wachovia.

The company, which adopted the name Wachovia Corp., also announced Tuesday the individuals who will serve on its 18-member board of directors. They include former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, one of nine former First Union board members, and Robert Ingram, one of nine former Wachovia directors and the chief executive of pharmaceutical operations of GlaxoSmithKline PLC.

"The closing of the merger marks the culmination of months of hard work," said Ken Thompson, Wachovia's chief executive and former chairman and CEO at First Union. Wachovia will be the nation's fourth-largest bank with $328.6 billion in assets as of March 31.

L.M. "Bud" Baker Jr. will continue in his role as chairman of Wachovia.