Treasury note yields fell to 7.85 percent, down from 8.52 percent at the last auction on Nov. 7. It was the lowest level since 1986 as the government's biggest-ever $34.5 billion quarterly refunding continued.

Help-wanted advertising in 51 newspapers nationwide rose in December for the first time in five months, indicating that a decline in labor market conditions may be easing, the Conference Board said.


The Big Three automakers' credit ratings were lowered by Standard & Poor's, signaling flagging confidence in the companies' financial health.

America West started an air fare war, offering half-price tickets to all its U.S. destinations. While several carriers moved to match the promotion, some waited.

Ford will enter the crowded minivan market next year with the Mercury Villager -- the first minivan to be built in cooperation with the Japanese. The Villager is designed and engineered by Nissan.

Harley-Davidson will temporarily lay off 398 of the 774 employees at its Milwaukee factory because of a strike at its Pennsylvania assembly plant.

Hallmark expanded its "Just How I Feel" line of cards with four cards designed with the troops deployed in the Persian Gulf in mind.

Westinghouse Electric, along with AT&T, IBM and Enterprise Development are exploring a plan to convert a vacant Baltimore waterfront complex into a high-technology communications-distribution center.


GTE's 1990 earnings were up 9 percent, and fourth-quarter earnings rose 5 percent, while its merger partner Contel said 1990 earnings fell 35 percent and fourth-quarter earnings fell 29 percent.

Eastman Kodak said 1990 earnings were up 33 percent and fourth-quarter net was $326 million, compared with a loss of $60 million a year ago.

Times Mirror, the nation's No. 3 media company, said 1990 earnings fell 39.4 percent and fourth-quarter profits fell 38.4 percent.

LTV said its earnings were down 81 percent for 1990, and it lost $19.5 million in the fourth quarter, compared to a profit of $72.3 million in the same quarter of 1989.


Harold Simmons, who failed in an attempt to unseat Lockheed's board of directors last year, offered to forgo another proxy challenge this year if he is given control of three board seats. The company said it would consider the proposal.

Lynn Martin was unanimously endorsed by the Senate Labor Committee as labor secretary, clearing the way for a Senate floor vote on her confirmation.

David Geffen, recording company executive, sold all of his 1.763 million shares of Pinelands, the new television station stock created by the sale of MCA, according to an SEC filing.


Japan agreed to hold talks with the United States on a new framework for semiconductor trade to replace the expiring current bilateral accord.

Japan licensed bank subsidiaries of Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Salomon Brothers to open in Tokyo.


Pan Am will carry Iraqi passengers who have U.S. passports or resident alien visas. A lawsuit was filed last week accusing Pan Am of discriminating against Iraqis. Meanwhile, the carrier received Transportation Department approval of its sale of transatlantic routes to United Airlines for $290 million. It must still be approved by the British government.

The Justice Department will review a proposed purchase of seven oil tankers owned by American Trading and Production of Baltimore by Overseas Shipholding Group of New York.