New home sales plummeted in April to their lowest level since the nation's economy emerged from the 1981-82 recession, the government said. Analysts attributed the fifth consecutive monthly decline to continued double-digit mortgage rates, which ranged between 10.25 percent and 10.56 percent.

Japan approved the sale of digital audio tape (DAT) recorders that can make direct digital recordings of compact discs, a move expected to aid marketing and sales of the expensive devices. The approval was timed to allow Japanese manufacturers to introduce the machines at the Consumer Electronics Show, which opens Saturday in Chicago.

New York City schools Chancellor Joseph Fernandez is reconsidering the school system's acceptance of donations from Michael Milken's foundation, following the disclosure that the financier visited a Harlem elementary school and gave a math lesson to about 30 elementary students after pleading guilty to felony charges of violating federal securities and tax laws.

Honeywell and Northwest Airlines announced an agreement with Soviet aviation officials that could lead to a global system of navigation free of ground-based equipment. Soviet and U.S. satellites would be tested simultaneously as a navigation guide for commercial jets. The deal is subject to the approval of the Soviet and U.S. governments.

Caller ID, a proposed Bell service that would allow customers to see the phone numbers of callers, violates Pennsylvania's Wiretap Act and callers' constitutional rights to privacy, a Pennsylvania court said. Bell of Pennsylvania said it would have to remove Caller ID from police and fire department emergency lines, where it already is in place.