U.S. savings bond sales increased 23 percent in October to $670 million from $544 million in September, the Treasury Department said.


Hartford and Aetna plan to withdraw from several markets. Aetna is dropping personal auto and homeowners' insurance in New Mexico and Idaho, saying the business is unprofitable. Hartford is withdrawing from most of its auto insurance business in Michigan after settling disputes with regulators and insurance agents there.

Renault of France will eliminate 4,620 jobs, or about 7 percent of its work force, next year as a result of sharply lower sales and an expected slowdown in the European auto industry, union sources said.

The Los Angeles Daily News will lay off about 50 employees, or 4 percent of its work force, in a cost-cutting restructuring.

Shawmut National Corp. said it is seeking to sell its 550,000-account credit card operation.

British Steel said it will close a major plant in Bellshill, Scotland, and lay off 1,200 workers because the money-losing facility is not competitive.

Dow Jones & Co., publisher of the Wall Street Journal, formed a company with the German publisher Von Holtzbrinck Group to pursue English-language publishing ventures in Europe.

Hughes Danbury Optical Systems, citing federal budget cuts, says it will eliminate about 90 jobs, or about 10 percent of its work force.

Wall to Wall Sound & Video, the bankrupt electronics retailer that announced a $49 million deal this week to sell 57 of its stores, also plans to sell its remaining assets and liquidate the business, court documents show. Earlier this year, the Cinnaminson, N.J.-based company had 104 outlets, including at least three in the Washington suburbs.


The FCC proposed rules that would require telephone companies to provide service to hearing- and speech-impaired callers by mid-1993. The Federal Communications Commission action sought to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act.


New York and Massachusetts sought to bar the sale of two junk bond mutual funds that allegedly duped 270,000 investors with tricky sales pitches. The two Manhattan-based funds are First Investors Fund for Income and First Investors High Yield Fund.


Harcourt Brace Jovanovich reported a third-quarter profit of $57 million, compared with a loss of $85.8 million for the same period last year.

Walt Disney Co. said its four-quarter earnings were up 9 percent.


Donald Trump, already under pressure from creditors, must prove he can cover the monthly costs of his Trump Palace condominium before any more units are sold, the New York state attorney general's office said. Meanwhile, Moody's said it is downgrading its credit rating on first mortgage bonds for the Trump Plaza casino-hotel in Atlantic City, citing "deteriorating operating performance."

Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said that if private insurers don't contain soaring health care costs, they will find themselves replaced by national health insurance by the turn of the century.


Toys R Us's $22.5 million warehouse in Joliet, Ill., has drawn the ire of local construction unions that charge that the toymaker is building the warehouse using nonunion workers and paying far below the area's prevailing wage scales. The unions say they will expand their boycott of Toys R Us from a local to a national one.