Charles Schwab Corp., the largest U.S. discount and Internet brokerage, said it will roll out a new wireless trading service to enable customers to use pagers, mobile phones and handheld computers to trade stocks. Schwab said it has formed a partnership with Aether Technologies to develop the new service, expected to be available by the end of the year.
Ford said "serious" jury misconduct led to a $295 million verdict against the automaker last month in a case involving a 1993 Bronco accident that killed three people. Ford made the misconduct allegations in court papers asking for a new trial. Among other things, the company said that at least one juror watched a television news program that raised safety questions about Ford Mustangs, while a second panelist told other jurors of a nightmare in which all of their children died in a Ford Bronco.
China said it was up to the United States to get talks restarted on Beijing's bid to join the World Trade Organization. Beijing froze the talks after NATO bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade on May 7. Earlier Beijing had demanded an apology for the bombing, which it got, and compensation for the victims, which it also received. It also had demanded a satisfactory explanation for the bombing and punishment of those responsible.
Motorola, the second-biggest cell-phone maker, said it will buy computer software developer Metrowerks for about $95 million in cash to strengthen its desktop and embedded-systems programming.
Snapple retailer Triarc has agreed to buy back Victor Posner's 24 percent stake in a $127 million deal. In 1993 a federal judge barred Posner, a Miami financier, from ever again heading a publicly traded company due to dealings with Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken, who had been convicted of securities crimes.
Pillsbury and Nestle USA, the makers of Haagen-Dazs frozen desserts and Drumstick ice cream bars, are combining their U.S. ice cream operations in an effort to boost sales. The 50-50 joint venture needs government approval.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced a settlement in its first-ever lawsuit targeting below-market tender offers, which alleged that shareholders didn't get adequate information about the offerings. I.G. Holdings and Peachtree Partners of Phoenix, the two firms named in the suit, didn't admit or deny the SEC allegations but agreed to cease and desist from future violations of federal securities laws.
Bentley Lingerie is recalling more than 30,000 children's robes because they fail to meet federal flammability standards. The Esleep Junior robes in sizes 4 to 14 were sold for about $25 in JC Penney stores nationwide from July 1998 through April 1999. Consumers are advised to stop using the robes immediately and return them to the store where they were purchased for a refund. For additional information consumers can call Bentley Lingerie at 1-888-330-3803.
Ames Department Stores said it had a second-quarter loss of $22.2 million after costs from reopening stores acquired from Hills Stores, compared with profit of $8.4 million a year ago. Excluding the costs, Ames had a $6.6 million profit.
Barnes & Noble posted a fiscal second-quarter profit from operations of $5.3 million, compared with a loss of $5.7 million a year ago. The firm attributed the improvement to higher sales at its retail stores and a smaller loss from its Internet business. The results exclude a $36 million gain from the stock offering of barnesandnoble.com and the partial sale of Chapters. They also exclude a $5 million loss associated with the termination of a planned merger with Ingram Book Group.
Dun & Bradstreet warned that because of falling U.S sales, third-quarter profit won't meet estimates of 40 to 41 cents a share, and profit for the year will be $1.62 to $1.65 a share, about 10 cents lower than expected.
Roche Holding, Europe's fourth-biggest pharmaceutical company, said first-half profit rose 15 percent, to $1.9 billion, on increased sales of its transplant, obesity and cancer drugs. The results included charges for legal expenses and a $500 million U.S. price-fixing fine, and a gain from the sale of stock in Genentech.
Seagram posted a wider loss in the fiscal fourth-quarter ended June 30 as prior box office disappointments hurt video sales at the liquor maker-turned-entertainment company. Its loss from operations widened to $129 million, from $12 million.
TD Waterhouse Group said its profit doubled in the fiscal third quarter ended July 31, to $26.4 million, as the discount broker benefited from surging customer stock trades.
Maryland inaugurated a Web site designed to lure more businesses to the state and help local officials make better sales pitches to out-of-state firms. The site, www.mquest.org, offers facts and figures on the types of things a company looks at when deciding whether to move to an area, including location, wages and tax rates. Visitors to the site can also link to economic development agencies, the governments of each of Maryland's 24 jurisdictions and various state agencies.
CACI International of Arlington said it has been awarded a $1.1 million contract by the Aeronautical Systems Center's Training Systems Product Group at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. The Phase 1 award was given to four contractors that will compete to determine which one will be awarded Phase 2 and the remainder of the contract. If CACI, an information technology provider, is selected, the award value for the company over the next five years is expected to be about $342 million.