Originally created 10/06/01

Business briefs



Bush announcement buoys sagging market

NEW YORK - The prospect of government help for the economy bolstered Wall Street on Friday, as President Bush's latest push for a stimulus plan pulled stocks from a moderate slump. Mr. Bush's comments helped tech stocks claim their first four-day winning steak since June.

While investors were encouraged by prospects of $60 billion in tax cuts for businesses and individuals, they were wary of making big commitments because an economic turnaround is still uncertain at best.

The Dow Jones industrial average finished up 58.89 at 9,119.77. The blue chips have now recouped 884 points, or nearly 65 percent, of the 1,369 lost in the first week of trading following last month's terrorist attacks.

Like the Dow, the broader market ended higher after slumping much of the day. The Nasdaq rose 7.99 to 1,605.30, having climbed more than 120 in the past four sessions. The last time the tech-focused index had four consecutive wins was June 26-29.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index inched up 1.76, to 1,071.38.British company to cut

1,200 American jobs

LONDON - Cookson, which makes industrial equipment and technology, said Friday it planned to cut 1,740 jobs, most of them in the United States, and is closing a number of unidentified plants in response to tough economic conditions in its major markets.

The company said 1,200 of the new cuts would be made in the United States, where it generated half its revenue last year.

The latest cuts boost the total of jobs eliminated this year to 3,700, or 18 percent of its work force of 20,500.

Asian-produced candy banned after chokings

WASHINGTON - The government stopped imports Friday of a once-popular jelly candy made in Asia that has been linked to the choking deaths of three children in the United States.

The Food and Drug Administration action comes 1 1/2 months after hundreds of supermarkets nationwide voluntarily pulled off shelves the conjac jelly candy, sold under a variety of names such as Jelly Yum and Fruit Poppers.

But the FDA issued a second warning to consumers Friday because smaller retailers may not have stopped and families may already have bought the hazardous candy.

Electric blanket line poses fire hazard

WASHINGTON - Biddeford Textile Corp. of Biddeford, Maine, is recalling about 394,000 electric blankets because a loose plug can overheat and start fires.

The company has received 34 reports of the plug on the blanket's detachable control switch overheating, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Friday. No injuries were reported.