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Archive for Wednesday, July 4, 2001

Business briefcase for Wednesday

July 4, 2001

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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 continue pumping

24.2 million barrels a day

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 two-fifths of the world's oil, with an official production of 24.2 million barrels a day.

ECONOMY

Increase in factory orders

beats expectations

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 will fall far short of expectations, a third of its work force has 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 is now expected to be between $52 million to $58 million, sharply down from the $85 million forecast by analysts.

TECHNOLOGY

Slow sales will cost

production of Mac Cube

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

The Cupertino, Calif., company said there is a small chance it will reintroduce an upgraded model of the computer in the future, but that there are no plans to do so at the moment.

Apple first 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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