Existing home sales

fell 4.3 percent in 1990 to the lowest level in five years, the National Association of Realtors said.

R.H. Macy & Co.

said December sales were down 11.8 percent from a year earlier, attributing the drop to the lackluster economy. Macy also said it will sell $25 million in preferred stock to a Hong Kong investor, along with an option to buy an additional $25 million in stock.

Fixed-rate mortgages

averaged 9.61 percent this week, down from 9.75 percent last week, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. On one-year adjustable rate mortgages, lenders were asking an average initial rate of 7.69 percent, down from 7.74 percent last week.


tentatively agreed to sell 104 Bob's Big Boy restaurants and 16 other outlets in California to Irvine, Calif.-based Restaurant Enterprises Group for $65 million. Marriott has been selling its family restaurants piecemeal and will have 320 restaurants on the block after its latest sale closes.

Shell Oil

said its fourth-quarter earnings soared by 69 percent because of higher crude oil prices. For all of 1990 it reported a 26 percent decline in earnings.

Two foreign airlines

, burdened by higher fuel costs and declines in travel due to the gulf war, cut their staffs and services. Scandinavian Airlines System will cut 3,500 jobs and its costs, while Greece's Olympic Airways trimmed domestic and international service and warned it might go out of business.

Japan's automakers

reported producing a record 13,486,796 cars, buses and trucks in 1990, up 3.5 percent from the previous year.

Texas Instruments

reported a loss of $56 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a $36 million profit in the same period of 1989. For all of 1990, it lost $39 million, compared with earnings of $292 million the year before.

Nolan D. Archibald,

chairman, president and chief executive of Black & Decker, was named to ITT's board.

Financial News Network

said the National Association of Securities Dealers has granted it a continuing exception to the listing qualifications of the Nasdaq stock-quotation system so FNN can submit its results for the fiscal year 1991.

United Press International

said it has indefinitely extended a 35 percent cut in management salaries to keep what it said were some serious buyers interested in the ailing news service.

Japan Finance Minister has been urged by an advisory panel to ease restrictions on direct investment by foreigners.