Originally created 06/29/02

Business briefs



BRIEFLY

Second quarter ends with more loss

NEW YORK - Wall Street ended a truly terrible quarter with a whimper Friday when stocks retreated from a solid advance and ended the session mixed. Blue chips pulled back, while tech shares posted a slim gain.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 26.66, or 0.3 percent, at 9,243.26, according to preliminary calculations. The Dow suffered its sixth straight weekly decline, dropping 0.2 percent.

The broader market was mixed. The Nasdaq composite index rose 5.78, or 0.4 percent, to 1,464.98.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index slipped 0.82, or 0.08 percent, to 989.82.

WorldCom layoffs begin with 17,000

CLINTON, Miss. - WorldCom Inc. began laying off 17,000 workers worldwide Friday, ending a week that saw the telecommunications giant disclose a massive accounting scandal that could force it into bankruptcy.

The company eliminated about 1,300 jobs in Virginia, 1,000 in Texas, nearly 700 in Maryland and 500 in Colorado. In other states, the numbers ranged from a few to a few hundred.

The cuts account for about 20 percent of the work force of the Clinton-based company, which operates in 65 countries.

Consumer spending is down, report says

WASHINGTON - Consumers, key players in the economic recovery, trimmed their spending in May for the first time in six months, buying fewer cars and other big-ticket items.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that spending edged down by 0.1 percent in May, after rising by a solid 0.6 percent in April.

Americans were more cautious in their May spending even as incomes rose modestly. Wages, interest and government benefits increased 0.3 percent in May, up from a 0.2 percent advance in April.