The junk bond market managed to turn in a positive 2.72 percent total return last month, outperforming other bond markets, said First Boston Corp.


Big Three automakers signed an agreement to develop a durable, lightweight battery that can be used to run cars and trucks of the future.

Pan Am was sued for discrimination over the airline's ban on Iraqi passengers. The suit, which seeks to be made a class action on behalf of other Iraqis, was filed by an Iraqi national who says he fled his country in 1984 because he was opposed to the government of Saddam Hussein.

The three automakers also announced plans to shut down 24 car and truck assembly plants next week, temporarily idling more than 62,000 workers because of a shortage of orders.

Hudson's Bay Co., which grew rich trading furs, will stop selling fur coats because they are no longer profitable.

Crown Central Petroleum in Baltimore declared a special cash dividend of 40 cents a share on its common stock in addition to its regular quarterly dividend of 10 cents a share.

NCR set March 1 as the date of record for its regular annual meeting and for a special meeting of shareholders to consider AT&T's $6.1 billion hostile bid. Investors owning shares as of that date can attend the meetings, to be scheduled later.

Ryland Group formed a company to develop markets for its building products in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central America.


Williams Telecommunication Group, a Tulsa-based company that has an 11,000-mile fiber-optic phone network but has been in search of customers, agreed to acquire the business telephone unit of Centel Corp. Terms were not disclosed.


General Dynamics was sued by shareholders accusing the firm of using illegal means and fraud to secure defense contracts. The suit claims the company allowed cost overruns and delays on the A-12 contract, leading to its cancelation by the Defense Department.

Nordstrom faces a class-action lawsuit accusing it of not paying employees for work outside normal schedules. A lawyer for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1001 said certification of the union as representative for those covered by the suit is pending.


KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will cut service to European and U.S. destinations because of falling passenger traffic due to the Persian Gulf War.

Royal Dutch Shell and a Chinese state oil company have received preliminary approval of plans to build a $2.5 billion refinery and polyethylene plant.


Dow Chemical said its profits dropped 45 percent for all of 1990 and 36 percent in the fourth quarter.

Eli Lilly said its profit rose 21 percent in 1990 and 13 percent in the fourth quarter.

Media General of Richmond said earnings rose 23 percent in 1990. Fourth-quarter net income was $3.1 million, compared with a loss of $1.2 million in the same period of 1989.

PaineWebber said it lost $57 million in 1990, largely because of a $95 million fourth-quarter charge to pay for layoffs and troubled loans.

Reebok's profits rose 1 percent for all of last year and 13 percent in the fourth quarter.

Xerox said earnings plunged 66 percent in 1990 but rose 11 percent in the fourth quarter.

UAL, the parent of United Airlines, said earnings fell 71 percent last year. It reported a fourth-quarter loss of $123.5 million.


Rep. Henry Gonzalez (D-Tex.), chairman of the House Banking Committee, said Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan probably shouldn't try to sort out differences between the administration and congressional Democrats on the a capital gains tax cut because of the political nature of the dispute. President Bush had proposed that Greenspan assume such a role.