ECONOMY

T-bill rates fell. The Treasury auctioned three-month bills at an average discount rate of 5.97 percent, down from 6.22 percent last week, and six-month bills at an average discount rate of 5.94 percent, down from 6.28 percent. The actual return to investors was 6.15 percent for three-month bills and 6.21 percent for six-month bills. The Fed also reported that the average yield for one-year T-bills fell to 6.51 percent last week from 6.58 percent the previous week.

The Department of Veterans Affairs lowered its maximum interest rate for federally backed VA home mortgages by one-half percentage point to 9 percent.

COMPANIES

Harley-Davidson said 1,450 production and maintenance workers at its York, Pa., motorcycle plant went on strike.

USX Chairman Charles A. Corry said the company has no immediate plans to sell its steel division. Speculation that USX was planning to sell the division was fueled last week when the company announced plans to divide its common stock into steel and energy issues to give investors the chance to invest in USX businesses separately.

INTERNATIONAL

Duty-free trade privileges were restored by President Bush to Chile, Paraguay and the Central African Republic as a result of improved human rights practices. Namibia, which became an independent country last March 21, was awarded the trade benefits for the first time.

REGULATION

Pam Am may be violating a New York civil rights law by barring Iraqi nationals from its flights, the city Human Rights Commission said. The airline's president, Thomas Plaskett, has been subpoenaed to testify about the policy.

A federal appeals court overturned the convictions of two Argentines accused of trying to extort $10 million from Du Pont in return for stolen documents containing trade secrets. The court said there was insufficient evidence to convict the two men.

CONTRACTS

Northrop received a $95.2 million Air Force contract for F-15 aircraft electronic countermeasure systems.

Chrysler Technologies Airborne Systems received a $72.6 million Air Force contract for five C-27A aircraft.

Netrix Corp. of Herndon will provide data communications equipment to link federal courts as a subcontractor in a $25 million contract awarded to IBM.

EARNINGS

Allied Stores and Federated Department Stores, operating under bankruptcy protection for 13 months, had their second consecutive profitable month in December, the companies said.

Capital Cities-ABC said its profit slipped 1.6 percent for all of 1990 and fell 13 percent for the fourth quarter.

Anheuser-Busch reported that earnings rose about 10 percent in all of 1990 and in the fourth quarter of the year.

McGraw-Hill said earnings rose more than fourfold in 1990. It also reported earnings of $51.4 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $98.3 million a year earlier.

Maytag said it 1990 profit fell 25 percent and its fourth-quarter profit plunged 67 percent.