Roger W. Ferguson Jr., a native Washingtonian and a Sidwell Friends graduate, was nominated by President Clinton to be vice chairman of the Federal Reserve. "He will be the first African American vice chair at the Fed, and I am very excited about his service and I am glad he is willing to do it," Clinton said. Ferguson, 47, a Harvard-trained economist and lawyer, is a member of the Fed's Board of Governors. He would fill the post vacated by Alice Rivlin, who resigned last month.

Aetna completed its acquisition of Prudential HealthCare for about $1 billion, making it the provider of health benefits for 21 million Americans. Aetna said the deal will give members a wider choice of physicians and enable it to raise the quality of health care. But doctors and other critics said it will make it easier for Aetna to increase premiums and cut payments to health care providers while reducing consumers' choices of health care plans.

United Press International sold its radio service to the Associated Press for an undisclosed sum, as the struggling company tries to narrow its focus to Internet delivery of political and technological news.

Charles H. Keating Jr. scored another legal victory when a federal appeals court voided a $4.3 billion judgment against the former Lincoln Savings & Loan chief, ruling the government should have given him a full trial before holding him personally liable for the collapse of his thrift. After Keating served nearly five years in prison, his state and federal criminal convictions were overturned for separate reasons.

Red Hat, a fast-growing seller of Linux software, will offer 6 million shares as early as next week in an initial public stock offerings. The shares, which will represent 9 percent of the company, are expected to be $12 each.

IBM confirmed that it was being audited by British officials for possible improper tax avoidance, but it called the audit routine. It was responding to a report by the Wall Street Journal saying the company avoided paying as much as $500 million in British taxes from 1991 to 1996.

Volvo will get a majority stake in rival Swedish vehicle maker Scania as part of a $7.4 billion deal with Investor AB. Volvo will buy a 49 percent stake in Scania that had been owned by Investor and will give Volvo 69.6 percent of the votes in Scania.