Car sales by the Big Three automakers plunged in late August. Car sales were down 27 percent and truck sales were off 24.8 percent. Through the first eight months of the year, the Big Three's car sales were 11.3 percent behind last year's pace and truck sales were down 3 percent, combining for an 8.1 percent decline in vehicle sales.

Sikorsky Aircraft and Korean Air will jointly produce Blackhawk transport helicopters for the Korean government. The number of helicopters to be produced and the value of the deal were not released.

The American Stock Exchange announced plans to develop an electronic system with Reuters for trading securities in the $170 billion private placement market.

The International Trade Commission said that sweaters from Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan that are being sold in the United States at less than fair market value harm U.S. industry and thus are subject to anti-dumping duties. Imported sweaters represent 72 percent of the $1.3 billion U.S. market, and the three countries ship 55 percent of the imports.

Airlines flying to Persian Gulf destinations are passing on increased insurance costs to passengers in the form of war-zone surcharges. Alitalia added a one-way $50 surcharge, KLM added surcharges ranging from about $28 to $102 one way, British Airways proposed a one-way surcharge of about $57, Turkish Airlines is planning a surcharge beginning next week and West Germany's Lufthansa added surcharges starting at $41.