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Archive for Tuesday, December 19, 2000

Briefcase

December 19, 2000

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Businesses add to holiday cheer

Lawrence businesses joined churches, schools and other organizations Monday to feed charitable needs of ECKAN Inc.

Starting in the early morning at Hallmark Cards Inc., 110 McDonald Drive, volunteers using a Jayhawk Siding truck loaded up gifts, food and other items to be funneled to 414 low-income families this week. Employees at KPL and Honeywell also donated.

All the goods made their way to ECKAN's temporary warehouse at Trinity Lutheran Church, where Bob Soetaert, above, handled unloading Monday morning. The items will be distributed Thursday and Friday.




Restructuring

Gillette to cut jobs, close factories

The Gillette Co. announced plans Monday to eliminate 2,700 jobs, or about 8 percent of its work force, and close eight factories and 13 distribution centers to boost its profit growth.

The shaving products company said its board had approved the restructuring plan, expected to generate savings of more than $125 million a year.

The job cuts, scheduled to be finished within 12 months, will come from business functions and operating units worldwide.




Aetna moves to ax jobs, save $200 million

Aetna Inc. plans to cut 5,000 jobs, or about 12.5 percent of its work force, as part of efforts to save $200 million next year as it focuses on its health insurance operations.

The announcement came less than a week after completing the sale of its financial services and international businesses to ING Group Inc.

Aetna said it would eliminate unprofitable businesses, including withdrawing from Medicare coverage in some markets and ending HMO offerings in some areas.

Additionally, it planned what it called significant price increases on health plan business renewals after Jan. 1.




Markets

Blue chips soar on rate cut possibility

Optimism that interest rates might soon be lowered sent blue chip stocks soaring Monday, while earnings worries again dogged the tech sector.

Financial stocks surged on speculation that the Federal Reserve would cut rates more quickly than expected. But tech stocks fell, unable to overcome Wall Street's doubts about their profitability in the slowing economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 210.46 at 10,645.42, as did the Standard & Poor's 500 index, rising 10.59 to 1,322.74.

The rally didn't extend to the Nasdaq, which fell 28.75 to 2,624.52 despite advancing in early trading.




Internet

MVP.com slashes positions

Even the backing of Michael Jordan, John Elway and Wayne Gretzky hasn't been able to save MVP.com from the financial troubles hitting Internet businesses.

The online sports and outdoors store said Monday it was laying off nearly half its staff of 166 and closing offices in Boulder, Colo., and Austin, Tex. The 79 cost-cutting layoffs hit 39 people in Austin and 20 each in Boulder and the company's headquarters in Chicago.

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