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Archive for Wednesday, July 4, 2001

Business Briefcase

July 4, 2001

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Markets close early for Independence Day

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 22.61 at 10,571.11 after an abbreviated session ahead of the July Fourth holiday. U.S. markets will be closed Wednesday and reopen Thursday.

Broader stock indicators were nearly unchanged. The Nasdaq composite index slipped 7.92 to 2,140.80, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 2.26 to 1,234.45.

Oil: OPEC to retain output as Iraq sanctions loom

OPEC members agreed Tuesday to continue pumping oil at current levels but braced for softer crude prices as Iraq showed a willingness to resume its oil shipments.

Delegates from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries announced their decision after a formal meeting at the cartel's headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

OPEC pumps about 40 percent of the world's oil, with an official production of 24.2 million barrels a day.

The meeting unfolded as the U.N. Security Council was debating whether to extend trade sanctions against Iraq, which suspended its crude shipments last month in a dispute with the United Nations.

Economy: Demand for cars, chips boosts factory orders

Orders to factories registered their largest increase in nearly a year, boosted by stronger demand for cars, semiconductors and industrial machinery.

The Commerce Department reported Tuesday that factory orders rebounded in May, rising 2.5 percent, after falling by 3.4 percent the month before.

The latest snapshot of manufacturing activity was better than many analysts were expecting. They had forecast that factory orders would rise by 1.5 percent in May. The advance was the largest since a 7.5 percent gain posted in June 2000.

Earnings: BroadVision shares plunge on expectations

BroadVision Corp.'s stock plunged more than 18 percent Tuesday after the software maker said losses would fall far short of expectations, a third of its work force had been cut and its chief financial officer resigned.

Preliminary estimates indicate the Redwood City, Calif., company lost between 17 cents and 20 cents per share for the quarter ended June 30. Analysts were expecting a loss of 11 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

Second-quarter revenue now is expected to range from $52 million to $58 million, sharply down from the $85 million forecast by analysts.

Technology: Apple Computer shelves production of G4 Cube

Apple Computer Inc. said Tuesday it would suspend indefinitely production of the Power Mac G4 Cube.

The Cupertino, Calif., company said there was a small chance it would bring back an upgraded model of the computer later, but that there were no plans to do so.

Apple introduced the snazzy-looking Mac Cube last year, but product sales were hurt by its steep price and public perceptions the computer which featured a 450-megahertz chip was much slower than competing systems. The Cube was introduced at a price of $1,799; the price was cut to $1,499 in January.

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