The Conference Board's help-wanted index of newspaper advertising was unchanged from June's reading and was 17 points lower than a year earlier.


Zenith Data Systems, a division of Groupe Bull, put its Heath electronics business up for sale. Heath Co., based in St. Joseph, Mich., manufactures and markets home-security products, educational systems and home electronics, including the Heathkit line of build-it-yourself electronic kits.

Xerox offered free replacement to customers dissatisfied with any of the company's products. The guarantee covers all Xerox products in the first three years after delivery.

T. Rowe Price Associates, the largest holder of Baltimore Bancorp stock, signaled it may back a takeover move by First Maryland Bank. The move was disclosed in a filing with the SEC.

Bank of New England asked bondholders to prepare to negotiate a "restructuring" of some or all of its $706 million debt and shore up its badly deteriorated capital position.

Ford of Canada was named by the Canadian Auto Workers union as its 1990 strike target. The union hinted strongly at a shutdown that could cripple Ford operations in the United States as well. Ford employs about 12,600 workers in Canada.

Alleco Inc.'s $105 million subordinated debt issue was lowered to a rating of single-D from single-C by Standard & Poor's following the failure of its former subsidiary, Service America, to make an interest payment due Sept. 1.

Lloyd's of London lowered war risks insurance premiums for cargos being transported to or from most Persian Gulf ports, and it raised non-war risks insurance premiums to Jordan.

Arco said it has a provisional consent agreement with the Federal Trade Commission regarding Arco's proposed acquisition of Union Carbide's propylene glycol and urethane polyether polyols businesses. Under the agreement, Arco can complete the acquisition, but must divest itself of the propylene glycol business and take other actions.


Japanese banks may face a downgrading in their credit ratings following the recent fall in the Tokyo stock market and amid pressure to improve their profitability. Among the banks put on "rating watch" by the ratings agency IBCA are the big five city banks -- Dai-Ichi Kangyo, Fuji, Mitsubishi, Sanwa and Sumitomo -- and the Industrial Bank of Japan.


A U.S. Court of Appeals dismissed an antitrust suit against a Coca-Cola bottlers cooperative. Sewell Plastics sued Southeastern Container, Coca-Cola and the 34 Coca-Cola bottlers that own Southeastern. Sewell alleged the bottlers, aided by Coca-Cola, violated antitrust laws by forming Southeastern to manufacture plastic soft drink bottles for them.

Jury selection began in the trial of 14 currency traders charged with 393 counts of illegal trading practices at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.


US Sprint announced $127 million in new long distance contracts: $78 million over two years with National Carriers Buyers Network, a consortium of small long-distance companies; $36 million over three years with American Healthcare Systems; $11 million over three years with ITT; and $2 million over two years with Fireman's Fund.

GE won a $31.8 million Air Force contract for F-16 fighter engines.

Sparta received a $14.6 million Air Force contract for software systems.

General Dynamics won a $12.6 million contract for Air Force training and Army tanks.

Survival Technology of Bethesda received a $4.8 million order from the Defense Department for its Mark 1 nerve gas antidote kits. The company said the order came in a "letter contract" under which it and the Pentagon work out final prices and other details later.


The Department of Transportation awarded Alaska Airlines authority to provide scheduled passenger service to the Soviet Union from Anchorage and authority for an all-cargo route between New York and Moscow/Leningrad to Federal Express. Flights can begin April 1 and will be authorized for two years.


Charles H. Keating Jr., a key figure in the savings and loan crisis, has agreed to live by limitations a federal judge temporarily imposed on his finances, including giving 48 hours' notice of any transactions exceeding $5,000, the Justice Department said.

T. Boone Pickens Jr., rebuffed repeatedly in his attempts to get on the board of Tokyo's Koito Manufacturing, announced an advertising campaign to attack Japan's closed corporate system. Pickens said he will run a number of full-page advertisements in major U.S. newspapers to focus attention on what he called Japan's unfair trade and investment policies.

Douglas B. Fox, a senior vice president for marketing at Newsday, has been named president and chief operating officer at Newsday and New York Newsday.

Rep. Leon Panetta said deficit reduction measures will probably fall short of the informal target of $50 billion for fiscal 1991. The Democratic chairman of the House Budget Committee also said a new energy tax should not be ruled out.