ECONOMY

Gasoline prices rose an average 0.7 cents a gallon in the week ended Tuesday and could rise more by the weekend if retailers begin passing on a new 5-cent-a-gallon excise tax to motorists, the American Automobile Association said.

Two-year T-note yields fell to the lowest level in more than 2 1/2 years. The average yield was 7.49 percent, down from 7.84 percent at the last auction on Oct. 30.

Longshoremen on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts ratified a master contract that provides a wage and fringe benefit boost while allowing fewer workers on container gangs. Local bargaining is continuing in all affected ports, centering on benefits, hours and guaranteed income.

COMPANIES

Orbital Sciences signed a $27.5 million financing agreement with First American Bank of Virginia and Sovran Bank to provide the Fairfax County firm with a two-year revolving line of credit.

US Sprint announced a package of telecommunications services customized for physicians and health care organizations. It includes electronic transmission of medical images such as X-rays and sonograms.

Toyota, as expected, said it would double the capacity of its auto assembly complex in Georgetown, Ky., and add 1,500 jobs, bringing it significantly closer to its stated goal of building 750,000 cars a year in North America by 1995.

ACQUISITIONS

International takeovers accounted for the majority of the value of all merger and acquisition activity in the 1990 third quarter, Mergers & Acquisitions magazine said.

Milton Roy Co. postponed a special shareholders meeting on the company's proposed merger with Sundstrand Corp. The meeting had been scheduled for Dec. 5, but the company rescheduled it for Jan. 4.

INTERNATIONAL

Foreign companies' share of Japan's market for semiconductor chips rose to 13.3 percent in the second quarter of 1990 due to a 1986 trade agreement, the Semiconductor Industry Association reported. The American trade group, however, said that figure probably will fail to meet a mid-1991 target of 20 percent.

Growth in world trade is unlikely to be seriously affected by the Persian Gulf crisis, according to a report by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Argentina will offer its 30 percent stake in the phone company ENTel to investors early next year for $400 million to $600 million, a government adviser reported.

Procter & Gamble and Finaf of Italy were ordered to suspend plans to cooperate on making diapers and other personal hygienic products in Europe until the EC is satisfied that "there is no breach" of fair competition rules.

REGULATION

Federal engineers are stepping up an investigation of reported seat belt failures in 1984 and 1985 Ford Mustangs. There have been 21 complaints of plastic components in the seat belt buckles breaking so the belt could not be latched.

CONTRACTS

Data General received an initial order from the U.S. Geological Survey under an information systems contract that was reinstated by a federal court of appeals last month after a losing bidder protested the contract, which has a procurement value of $127 million.

PEOPLE

Alan Greenspan, the Fed chairman, said in a letter to House Budget Chairman Leon Panetta that the $492 billion budget pact forged by Congress doesn't curb spending as much as Greenspan would like. But Greenspan said the pact represents a significant "first step" toward cutting the deficit.