MARKETS U.S. savings bonds' market- based interest rate has been increased to 7.19 percent for the next six months from 7.01 percent, the Treasury Department said. The New York Stock Exchange board froze officers' salaries for 1991 and said it expects to reduce staffing by about 8 percent next year. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange is forming a special panel to study merger and joint venture offers. The move comes a week after the American Stock Exchange reopened preliminary talks on the purchase of the stock options business of the Philadelphia exchange. Money market fund assets in the United States fell by $140.4 million to $415.39 billion in the week ended Wednesday, the Investment Company Institute said. The Moscow Commodities Exchange, begun five months ago, is getting training and technical advice from the Chicago Board of Trade and Chicago Mercantile Exchange to take it from "one step above barter" into a Western-style market.
COMPANIES Morgan Stanley said it will lay off 50 professionals from its worldwide investment banking staff of 800 by the end of the year. Lotus Development agreed to pay $65 million for Samna Corp., a small Georgia firm, as its first venture into word processing for personal computers using the "Windows" operating system. Kaiser Aluminum and the United Steelworkers reached tentative agreement on a four-year contract covering about 3,500 employees at six U.S. locations. It would boost base pay by 50 cents an hour in the first and fourth years. Coca-Cola and Mattel will join forces in a $700 million Christmas promotion featuring coupons on soft-drink products that may be exchanged for discounts on toy purchases. The Trump Shuttle canceled plans to raise fares, what would have been its fourth increase in 10 months, but said the decision had nothing to do with the Pan Am Shuttle's decision not to follow suit in hiking fares. Continental Airlines is exploring the sale of its operations in the Pacific to Delta Air Lines. Navistar International received notification from the United Auto Workers that the union might strike tomorrow if a contract isn't reached. McCormick & Co., the Hunt Valley, Md.-based spice giant, has bought the rights to Old Bay crab spice from Hanson Industries. McCormick did not disclose the purchase price.
ACQUISITIONS Prudential Preferred Properties of Bethesda acquired Noah & Cummings Inc./Mount Vernon Realty in Montgomery County and Robinson Real Estate of Georgetown for an undisclosed price.
INTERNATIONAL Germany's central bank raised one key lending rate to 8.5 percent from 8.0 percent, but it left its discount rate unchanged at 6.0 percent. Poland has set June 1, 1991, as the date for starting up a stripped-down version of a stock exchange, a Polish government official said. Pratt & Whitney Canada plans to lay off between 1,000 and 1,200 workers, about 12 percent of its work force. It cited a downturn in demand for small jets in the United States.
REGULATION The Fed was urged by two top House Democrats, Majority Leader Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) and Budget Committee Chairman Leon Panetta (D-Calif.), to cut interest rates more than the Fed already has in response to the deficit reduction package. United Airlines said it and Pan Am have asked the Transportation Department to approve the transfer of Pan Am route between five U.S. cities and London. The carriers announced the $400 million route sale last week.
COURTS The U.S. Court of Appeals said Walter F. Curran, a former Dean Witter Reynolds stock broker who in February received a five-year prison term for defrauding clients, deserves a new sentence because he didn't get the chance to rebut certain comments made in court. The court ordered that Curran be resentenced.
PEOPLE Albert Young, a former Merrill Lynch vice president, was charged with soliciting and demanding payoffs from vendors hired to construct the brokerage firm's world headquarters in New York.