Corporate profits, reflecting the generally weak overall economy, edged down 0.2 percent in the April-June quarter, the Commerce Department said. The decline was the first since a 5.9 percent drop in after-tax profits in the July-September quarter last year.
Mortgage rates rose this week. Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates rose to 10.29 percent from 10.05 percent and adjustable-rate notes increased to 8.36 percent from 8.31 percent, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. said.
Machine tool orders fell to $233.75 million in July, down 11.9 percent from June, and were slightly lower for the first seven months compared with the year-earlier period because of weak domestic demand, the Association for Manufacturing Technology said.
Exports of Maryland-made goods jumped 25 percent in 1989 to $3.17 billion from $2.55 billion in 1988, said a report from the Massachusetts Institute for Social and Economic Research. The report said the state outperformed the nation for 1989.
Brokers say they are making more margin calls on investor accounts than at any time since the market collapse of October 1987. The use of margins, or debt using existing stock portfolios as collateral, increased as the Dow average approached the 3000 level in July.
General Electric will lay off about 650 workers at a Burlington, Mass., aerospace plant and shut another plant in Huntsville, Ala., that employs about 400. GE blamed the shrinking defense market and said the cuts will be made next year.
McCormick & Co. will buy back as many as 2 million of its 40 million common shares from time to time in open-market transactions. The Hunt Valley, Md. company said its most recent repurchase program has been completed.
Sematech, the U.S. semiconductor consortium, said it made a technical breakthrough with the development of a very small device that will be used to build integrated circuits. Sematech said it is on schedule toward matching Japanese technology by the end of next year.
Sun Microsystems withdrew its planned offering of common shares. Sun Chairman Scott McNealy said market conditions have "clearly deteriorated" since the announcement of the offering 10 days ago.
Japan's long-term prime interest rate will rise 60 basis points to 8.5 percent for September from the current 7.9 percent.
A federal appeals court rejected efforts by California, the cities of Los Angeles and New York and environmental groups to change the way auto mileage standards are set. It ruled that the U.S. government doesn't have to prepare formal environmental impact statements in setting the standards.