ECONOMY

Treasury yields fell to the lowest level since January. The average yield was 8.41 percent, down from 8.52 percent at the last auction on May 23. The notes will carry a coupon interest rate of 8 3/8 percent with each $10,000 in face value selling for $9,993.70. A total of $11.25 billion in notes was sold out of bids totaling $24.85 billion

American CEOs blame their employees' lack of skills and commitment for a decline in quality of goods and services, according to a new Gallup survey commissioned by Philip Crosby Associates, a management consulting firm that recently opened its first local office in Alexandria.

COMPANIES

IBM officially launched its second assault on the home computer market with a personal computer priced as low as $999 that will be sold at mainstream retailers such as Sears, Dillards and Dayton's stores. They will be sold initially in three markets -- Chicago, Dallas and Minneapolis. Nationwide sales are planned for September.

Ashland Oil said new allegations made against the company in an amended environmental suit "are false and ridiculous." Lawyers for 912 West Virginians suing Ashland over alleged health and property damage added charges of fraud and obstruction of justice to their suit Monday.

Lincoln National will sell Dai-Ichi Mutual Life Insurance Co., Japan's second-largest life insurance company, two new series of Lincoln National convertible preferred stock worth about $312 million. The transaction represents the largest investment in a U.S. insurer by a Japanese insurance company, officers said.

Continental Bank Corp. of Chicago is eliminating about 900 jobs and several product lines as part of cost-cutting measures expected to save $75 million a year.

MCI signed a loan agreement for up to $1 billion with a group of 22 banks to finance its acquisition of Telecom USA.

Apple Computer completed a six-month shakeup of its top-level management with the appointment of longtime Hewlett-Packard executive Robert Puette as head of U.S. sales and marketing. Puette, 48, was named president of Apple USA, a position left vacant by the resignation of Allan Z. Loren in January.

Hunt Manufacturing of Philadelphia intends to exempt itself from the anti-takeover amendments to the Pennsylvania Business Corporation law and adopt a shareholder rights plan, saying the plan can better protect the company's interest in controlling the firm.

ACQUISITIONS

National-Standard Co. sold its operation in Uitenhage, South Africa to Natstan Manufacturing Ltd., a new, privately held South African company formed by members of the management group of the former National-Standard subsidiary. The Uitenhage operation manufactures tire bead wire and carbon steel welding wire. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

INTERNATIONAL

Bell Atlantic and Telefonica of Spain have probably won the bids for Argentina's state telephone company, Empresa Nacional de Telecommunicaciones, Buenos Aires newspapers reported. Telefonica selected the half of the system that runs south of Buenos Aires and Bell Atlantic picked the northern portion, the papers said.

Japanese and U.S. officials agreed to extend trade talks after failing to reach final agreement on substantial economic changes aimed at narrowing the trade imbalance between the countries.

Mexico's state-owned Cananea copper mine was purchased at auction by a group of Mexican, Canadian and West German businessmen for $468 million.

BellSouth has been granted a license to provide cellular telephone service in New Zealand.

REGULATION

The House crime subcommittee approved legislation aimed at limiting abusive civil lawsuits brought against businesses under the federal Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations statute. The bill would give federal judges the authority to throw out lawsuits deemed inappropriate under the civil RICO statute.

CONTRACTS

Nynex has been awarded two contracts to provide management services to the Philippines Long Distance Telephone Co. Nynex will assist the PLDT in engineering-related activities. It also will help formulate a strategic marketing plan for the company. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

PEOPLE

Carl T. Rowan, syndicated columnist, was named to the Gannett board of directors. The appointment of Rowan, 64, brings the number of Gannett board members to 15.

Robert Campeau missed a $1 million loan payment to Campeau Corp due April 30, the company said. Campeau has $13 million in loans outstanding from the company.