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Archive for Tuesday, October 5, 2004

Briefcase

October 5, 2004

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Yahoo launches service to compete for local ads

Yahoo Inc. on Sunday launched a search offering that helps users find local businesses as it battles Google Inc. and other Web search providers to capture a growing share of the billion-dollar advertising market now dominated by Yellow Page publishers.

Called Yahoo Local, the service will be accessible from the Yahoo home page and through Yahoo Search. It aims to help users quickly track down businesses such as restaurants, dry cleaners and banks in their neighborhoods or in other chosen areas.

Yahoo and others hope the new services will lure millions of local advertisers, who are discovering how to use the Web to reach consumers. According to the Kelsey Group, small-business spending in local market advertising is roughly $22 billion annually across all media.

Above, Anis Ben Amora looks for information at the Yahoo interactive bus stop Sunday in the North Beach section of San Francisco.

Executives

EBay president named top businesswoman

The title of Most Powerful Businesswoman is going, going, gone to eBay's Meg Whitman.

The president and CEO of the auction Web site surpassed Carly Fiorina, chairman and CEO of computer equipment maker Hewlett-Packard Co., who has held the title every year since Fortune magazine began its annual list of most powerful women in business in 1998.

Whitman earned Fortune's top spot due to eBay's significant growth during the past year. EBay's earnings last quarter were double Wall Street's expectations, and the company recently acquired Baazee.com, the largest online marketplace in India.

Taking the No. 3 spot was Avon Products chairman and CEO Andrea Jung, while Xerox chairman and CEO Anne Mulcahy was No. 4 and Marjorie Magner, chairman and CEO of Citigroup's global consumer group, placed fifth. Oprah Winfrey was No. 6.

Energy

Oil prices dip slightly

Oil futures retreated below the $50-a-barrel level Monday, though analysts said there was enough uncertainty about geopolitics and weather -- and the industry's ability to quickly boost crude output -- to keep prices from plummeting anytime soon.

Light crude futures for November delivery settled 21 cents lower at $49.91 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Traders said oil market tensions had eased somewhat due to a Nigerian militia leader's tentative agreement late last week to disarm the fighters he had threatened to use to wage a "full-scale" war in the country's oil-rich Niger Delta.

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