Originally created 10/10/01

Business briefs



Microsoft court ruling spurs Wall Street drop

NEW YORK - Wall Street maintained a low profile Tuesday, with cautious investors selling stocks moderately lower on an unsurprising Supreme Court ruling on Microsoft and taking profits from the market's recent rally.

The pullback was expected given recent gains, notably five consecutive wins for the Nasdaq composite index, and political uncertainty as the United States continues its military strikes in Afghanistan, retaliating for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 15.50 at 9,052.44, having gained 272.21, or 3.1 percent, last week. The Nasdaq fell 35.76 to 1,570.19, having claimed a five-day, 125-point winning streak Monday, its first five straight gains since the week of June 25. The Standard & Poor's 500 index declined 5.69 to 1,056.75.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers nearly 8-to-7 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Texaco sells holdings to smooth Chevron deal

HOUSTON - Texaco Inc. is selling its interests in two gas station and refinery joint ventures to Shell Oil Co. and another partner for about $2.1 billion, paving the way for completion of Texaco's $38.6 billion sale to Chevron Corp.

The Federal Trade Commission required the sale of Texaco's stakes in the joint ventures as a condition of its recent approval of the Chevron-Texaco merger pact, announced a year ago.

San Francisco-based Chevron and White Plains, N.Y.-based Texaco completed their merger Tuesday after both companies' shareholders approved the deal. The new company will be known as ChevronTexaco Corp.

It will be the second-largest U.S. based energy company behind Exxon Mobil Corp. and the fifth largest in the world, with some 25,000 retail outlets on six continents, revenues of nearly $117 billion and gas and oil reserves totaling more than 11 billion barrels.

Toys R Us increases quarterly loss figure

PARAMUS, N.J. - Toys R Us Inc. said Tuesday it expects a wider loss for the third quarter than originally projected, citing the impact of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in an already weakening economy.

The nation's second-biggest toy seller, behind Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said it now expects to lose 22 cents a share in the quarter that ends Nov. 5, more than double the consensus for a 10 cent per share loss projected by analysts before the attacks.

Construction at the company's new Toys R Us flagship store in New York's Times Square was also delayed, but is still expected to open before Thanksgiving.

Toys R Us, operates 1,582 stores worldwide, including 702 toy stores in the United States.Small firms lagging

in preparing for euroBRUSSELS, Belgium - Only one in four smaller companies considers itself ready for January's introduction of euro cash, said Pedro Solbes, the European Union's monetary affairs commissioner.

Mr. Solbes on Tuesday said banks and government offices in the 12 countries in the euro zone are generally on track.

But small and medium-sized businesses "remain our main point of concern," he said. Problems cited include adapting cash registers to euros and training personnel.

Storing large amounts of euro cash ahead of the official launch to cope with the expected high demand at the start of next year poses a particular problem for small retailers, he said.