National Semiconductor unveiled a new computer chip that puts most of the functions of a personal computer on a single chip, bringing more power and functionality to small information devices. The new Geode SC1400 chip will do the work of what would normally require six different chips, spokeswoman Linda Ashmore said. National Semiconductor is targeting the chip for use in "information appliances" such as television set-top boxes, hand-held information devices such as the Palm VII, and, eventually, car navigation systems.

U.S. banks charged their customers more and higher fees in 1998, with larger institutions leading the way, according to a Federal Reserve study. The fee increases were well ahead of the rate of inflation in the same period, the Fed noted.

The World Trade Organization, deadlocked over the choice of a new director-general, postponed a meeting called to reach a compromise after representatives of Australia and Bangladesh asked for an adjournment for more consultations. The latest proposal would have former New Zealand premier Mike Moore and Thai Deputy Premier Supachai Panitchpakdi each hold the office for three years.

American Airlines and negotiators for the Allied Pilots Association have reached agreement on the key issue in their long-running dispute: how to integrate pilots from the recently acquired Reno Air into American's pilots corps. The pact would give the Reno pilots three pay raises and combine their seniority list with American's by Sept. 1. "We can't say much about it until the board has a chance to review the contract language and vote on it," said Rich LaVoy, president of the 9,500-member Allied Pilots. The union's board will probably vote in the next two to three weeks, he said.

Safeway has agreed to pay $200,000 in civil penalties for dumping thousands of gallons of spoiled milk into Northern California storm drains in 1996, federal officials announced. The penalty settles a civil suit accusing the supermarket chain of numerous violations of the Clean Water Act. After an error at a milk plant in 1996 made the milk unacceptable for sale, more than 10,500 gallons of it were dumped by 24 Safeway and Pak'n Save stores into drains that led to surface waterways, including San Francisco Bay, the suit said.

The union representing Pacific coast dockworkers agreed to contract terms, ending weeks of tense negotiations, shutdowns and slowdowns. Terms of the three-year deal were not released pending final ratification by the union, which represents 10,000 dockworkers in California, Oregon and Washington.

The three men indicted in the 1996 ValuJet crash in the Everglades surrendered, with one defendant, SabreTech mechanic Mauro Valenzuela, again saying he was ordered to sign forms allowing oxygen canisters mislabeled as empty onto the plane. Valenzuela, SabreTech mechanic Eugene Florence and Daniel Gonzalez, SabreTech's former vice president of maintenance, are charged with conspiracy and making false statements that led to the crash, which killed 110 people.


BP Amoco plans to sell an estimated $10 billion in assets over the next three years as part of a drive toward improving efficiency and boosting profits. Chief executive John Browne told investors the company also plans to slash costs by 20 percent by 2001 and to increase capital spending over the same period.


Coca-Cola reported that second-quarter earnings fell 21 percent, to $942 million, as a result of the contamination of Coke products in Europe and depressed sales in struggling overseas economies. The results worked out to 38 cents per share, which was in line with the prediction of analysts surveyed by First Call.

Cummins Engine said net income rose more than 9 percent, to $58 million, in the second quarter, boosted in part by strong North American demand for diesel engines.

Dole Food said second-quarter earnings fell 42 percent, to $47.4 million, as the result of a decline in banana prices in Europe and North America. The results included a one-time gain of $9.9 million from insurance proceeds.

Global Marine, a Houston-based offshore oil and gas driller, said second-quarter profit fell 62 percent, to $28.2 million, as the lingering effects of slumping oil prices reduced demand for its rigs.

Guidant said second-quarter profit from operations rose 7 percent, to $104.4 million, driven by demand for its artery-clearing products. Including acquisition-related charges in both periods, Guidant's net income rose 19 percent, to $93.8 million.

Hasbro's second-quarter net income soared to $32.2 million, from $5.5 million a year ago, based on strong sales of "Star Wars" toys and shipments of computer-based games and Tiger Electronics products.

Maytag said second-quarter profit rose 30 percent, to $88.2 million, driven by sales of its Gemini electric ranges and other new, more expensive products.

McGraw-Hill, publisher of Business Week magazine and textbooks, said second-quarter earnings rose 16 percent, to $90 million, amid strong demand in Europe for credit ratings from its Standard & Poor's unit.

The New York Times Co. said higher newspaper advertising sales and lower newsprint prices boosted second-quarter profit from operations by 10 percent, to a record $85.8 million. Revenue increased 4 percent, to $779.4 million.

PNC Bank of Pittsburgh said second-quarter net income rose 12.5 percent, to $315 million, as gains in asset management and mutual fund services offset declines in net interest income.

Unisys, which competes with International Business Machines in running companies' computer systems, said second-quarter profit rose 33 percent, to $119.7 million, on its surging services business.


America Online of Dulles launched the 2.0 version of its AOL Instant Messenger service and said more than 750 million messages are sent every day through what's known as "buddy lists" on the service and its other instant message offering, ICQ. AOL also said its subsidiary CompuServe for a limited time will give $400 rebates to people who buy IBM Aptiva computers or i Series ThinkPad laptops and sign up for three years of CompuServe online service. The lowest-cost IBM Aptiva PC sells with a monitor for $399, effectively turning the offer into a free computer for people who agree to use CompuServe for three years.

Mobil and BP Amoco said they have discovered an oil field in the Gulf of Mexico with recoverable reserves of 1 billion barrels of crude, the biggest strike ever in the Gulf. BP Amoco holds a 75 percent stake and Fairfax-based Mobil has a 25 percent stake in the field, which is about 125 miles southeast of New Orleans.

Sandy Spring Bancorp of Olney, parent of Sandy Spring National Bank of Maryland, posted second-quarter earnings of $4.4 million, a 14 percent increase. Executives of the bank, which operates 23 offices in Montgomery, Howard, Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties, cited strong growth in loans and deposits.

Columbia Bancorp of Columbia reported earnings of $1.27 million for the second quarter, an 8 percent increase from the same period a year ago. The company also cited increases in total deposits and loans.