IBM said it will provide nearly $400,000 to support day-care centers in the Washington area, almost all of the total going to build a single center in Gaithersburg, where the children of approximately 1,500 of the company's employees will get priority placement.

The foreign trade deficit widened sharply to $25.59 billion in the July-September quarter, the worst showing since late last year, the government reported. The 13.9 percent jump in the deficit was blamed on the fallout from the Persian Gulf crisis.

Quasar, a U.S. subsidiary of Japan's Matsushita Electric, discriminated against Americans in reducing its management staff, a U.S. District judge ruled. Prior to a 1986 reorganization and 50 percent work force reduction, Quasar had 89 managerial employees -- 80 Americans and nine Japanese. Afterward, the management staff consisted of 23 employees -- 14 Americans and nine Japanese.

Robert L. Gould, former senior vice president of operations and head of the pilots union at Pan Am, was appointed president and chief operating officer of Eastern Air Lines.

GM plans a 40 percent boost in the number of minority-owned dealerships over the next three years, the company said. GM has 192 black, Hispanic and Asian dealers, making up 2 percent of its approximately 9,600 dealers.

The economy will be in a recession in the first half of 1991, said the National Association of Purchasing Management, but the business group expects the recession will end in the second half of 1991.

Texas Instruments, in a move designed to substantially boost royalties from its semiconductor patent portfolio, announced a 10-year patent cross-license agreement with Toshiba of Japan.