Gasoline prices surged 3.6 cents a gallon during the past week, the American Automobile Association said. The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline at self-service pumps rose to $1.346 a gallon.

Single-family home sales were down 1.4 percent in August, after declining 0.2 percent in July.

Mandated health care could cause as many as 3.5 million Americans to lose their jobs if Congress forced employers to provide health insurance for workers, according to a report released by the Partnership of Health Care & Employment.


Dominion Bankshares of Roanoke, parent firm of Dominion Bank, said it will restructure its operations, combining its five Virginia banking affiliates into one bank by early spring. Bank officials declined to comment on the move, except to say that it will allow Dominion to compete more effectively and will be followed by other consolidations.

Wheat, First Securities brokerage of Richmond is laying off 65 of its 1,965 employees because it said it was "overstaffed for current levels of business."

GE plans to lay off 450 to 500 hourly workers at its appliance manufacturing complex in Louisville by Jan. 2 because of the softening economy.

Unisys's debt and preferred stock ratings were downgraded by Moody's Investors Service, which said the computer maker's prospects "for significant, sustainable profit improvements are low."

inancial News Network and Tele-Communications signed an agreement to continue to carry FNN on Tele-Communi- cations's national cable systems. Terms were not disclosed.

CRI Insured Mortgage Association of Rockville began its offer to acquire control of four insured mortgage investment partnerships sponsored by bankrupt Integrated Resources Inc.


PepsiCo acquired more than 70 percent of Empresas Gamesa, parent company of Mexico's largest cookie maker, for about $300 million.


Polish electric utilities selected a consortium of Westinghouse Electric and three Polish companies to conduct a $3 million study on the potential for modernizing Poland's fossil-fueled power plants.


Aerospace Corp. won a $434 million Air Force contract for scientific and technical support.

GE won a $64.9 million Navy contract for ship weapons systems.

Aerojet Electrosystems, a unit of Gencorp, won a $39.3 million Air Force contract for satellite equipment.

Martin Marietta won a $38.1 million Air Force contract for Midgetman missiles.

US Sprint won a $35 million contract to connect to about 3,500 pay phones on General Services Administration facilities. GSA will receive $8.75 million as commission for allowing Sprint the rights.


Peugeot reported its first-half profit was up 8.8 percent from the same period last year.


Michael Milken's special court hearing has been scheduled to begin Oct. 9. The hearing will address a series of allegations made by prosecutors in a presentencing memo.

Gerald Ronson's appeal of his $9.2 million fine in the Guinness scandal case was rejected by a London judge, who said rich men must not be beyond punishment of the law. Ronson claimed that the fine, the largest in British history, was too great and could not be paid in nine months as the court demanded.