Carlson Wagonlit Travel
cuts business fees
Carlson Wagonlit Travel cut its franchise signing fees and monthly royalty fees in a move to expand its ranks.
Carlson, the country's second-largest travel agency, reduced its franchise signing fees to $1,500 from $3,950 and cut monthly fees to $100 from $500. Under the new program, only $500 of the franchise fee must be paid when an independent agent signs on, with the balance due at the end of the second year.
The deal comes after a recent round of commission cuts that capped agents' share of ticket sales for most major airlines at 5 percent.
Last year Carlson had worldwide gross sales of $11 billion, according to the trade publication Travel Weekly. Carlson has more than 3,000 locations, including 1,300 in the United States.
It has an office at 800 Mass.
U.S. savings bonds
being sold online
Americans can now buy U.S. Savings Bonds, anytime they want, over the Internet.
The Treasury Department's new "Savings Bond Connection" Internet site began operations Tuesday. For the first time, it gives Internet users the option of buying savings bonds online from the government.
To buy bonds online, a purchaser goes to www.savingsbonds.gov and clicks on the Savings Bond Connection. Online buyers provide information, including name, Social Security number and mailing address, just as when they purchase bonds from banks and other financial institutions.
Bonds bought on the Internet must be purchased by credit card. For now, only MasterCard and Visa will be accepted.
Stocks lose ground
The stock market fell back from a big early rally and closed mixed Tuesday, unable to sustain its advance amid continuing concerns about interest rates. The technology-dominated Nasdaq Stock Market also lost ground after early gains, but still ended the session with a third straight record close.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 66.67 at 10,581.84 after sacrificing a gain of more than 100 points. The Dow also fell more than 81 points on Monday.
Broader stock indicators were mixed. The Standard & Poor's 500 closed down 6.38 at 1,347.74, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 13.98 to 2,981.63.
"The rally ran out of gas," said Paul McEnroe, an assistant manager at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. in New York.