Originally created 01/15/04

Business briefs



MARKETS

AROUND TOWN

Tire shop to open in Columbia County

Jim Whitehead Tire Service Inc. is expanding into Columbia County.

The company, whose existing shop is on Deans Bridge Road, recently purchased nearly an acre in Evans at 4432 Washington Road, the site of the former Barksdale's Menswear store. Mr. Whitehead said he will renovate the building to add 4,550 square feet.

The facility, which will have eight service bays, is expected to open in March.

BRIEFLY

Toy store files for bankruptcy

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - KB Toys Inc. on Wednesday filed for bankruptcy protection and announced it will close up to 500 stores and cut its work force.

The privately held retailer with about 1,300 stores blamed heavy price cutting by giant discounters, primarily Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

It is not known whether the company will close its local store, located in the Augusta Mall. Company CEO Michael Glazer said the exact number of store closings depends on landlords' flexibility in offering rent reductions.

U.S. economy is still gaining speed

WASHINGTON - A batch of new economic reports Wednesday provided fresh evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to gain momentum, with an unexpectedly sharp narrowing of the trade deficit and a strengthening of business activity in most parts of the country.

The Federal Reserve reported in a nationwide survey that the economy continued to rebound from late November to the early part of this year.

The Fed survey hints that rising orders were prompting manufacturers to begin rehiring some of the 2.8 million factory workers laid off over the past 3 1/2 years.

Bond prices drop as stocks go up

NEW YORK - Bond prices were mostly lower Wednesday as investors focused on the rising stock market.

The price of the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 1/32 point, or 31 cents per $1,000 in face value. Its yield was flat at 4.01 percent.

The 30-year Treasury bond rose 5/16 point to yield 4.90 percent, down from 4.92 percent, a day earlier, according to Moneyline Telerate. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

ONLINE

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