The Chicago Stock Exchange approved after-hours trading for institutional and individual investors, the first exchange to do so. The exchange will add 2 1/2 hours of trading to thwart encroachment from electronic trading, where 20 percent to 25 percent of online trades by individual investors are placed after hours. Pending regulatory approval, it hopes to add the extra hours Oct. 1. The NYSE and Nasdaq are considering extended hours, but their plans have been bogged down by a failure to cooperate on exact hours.

The U.S. budget deficit was $25.16 billion in July, as inflows to the Treasury slowed after quarterly income tax payments were received in June. Outlays totaled $147.07 billion, while receipts totaled $121.91 billion. Last month's budget deficit was slightly higher than the $24.08 billion deficit reported in July 1998, though the government is still on track for posting a big surplus this year.

Jeffrey Levy, 22, pleaded guilty to illegally distributing movies, music and software programs from his Web site in what federal prosecutors said was the first Internet privacy conviction under a 1997 law. Levy, a University of Oregon student, could get up to three years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 for his violation of the No Electronic Theft Act. The FBI was tipped by university computer managers who saw a high volume of traffic on one of its servers that handle Internet connections.

Iomega's chief executive, Jodie Glore, resigned, forcing the troubled maker of computer data storage equipment to search for someone to lead the company for the second time in the past 10 months. Glore, who also served as president, is leaving for personal reasons. He will remain with Iomega until Aug. 31. After that, the board chairman, David Dunn, will act as CEO until a replacement is found.

Sprint shares fell more than 8 percent after several analysts warned that competitive pressures in the long-distance market would hurt earnings in 1999 and beyond. The stock closed at $58.87 1/2, down $1.06 1/4 a share. Earlier this week, Sprint said losses related to its Global One international venture more than doubled, to $90 million, in the second quarter.

Sears and Wal-Mart are facing proposed fines by the FAA, which said the two retailers had improperly shipped hazardous materials by air. Sears faces a $55,000 fine for shipping a battery that was not properly packaged or labeled. Wal-Mart faces a $50,000 fine for shipping fire extinguishers that were improperly marked and packaged. Both companies have 30 days to respond to the allegations.

Quantum, a maker of computer disk drives, will eliminate 800 jobs, or 13 percent of its work force, to better compete in the low-cost computer market. Quantum, of Milpitas, Calif., will record a special charge of $50 million for its second quarter ended Sept. 26 as part of a restructuring of its desktop hard-disk drive business.

J&L Specialty Steel of Pittsburgh will decrease market discounts on various grades of stainless steel products to offset higher operating costs and cover higher raw material costs. Prices, in effect, will increase. J&L will lower market discounts by 3 percentage points starting tomorrow.


A recall of 2,500 bottles of WeatherMate Exterior Wood Cleaner was announced because the nozzle may break. If exposed to the cleaner, consumers' eyes or hands could become irritated or burned. Customers should return the 32-ounce bottles of the cleaner, made by GE Silicones, to the place of purchase to exchange them for bottles with a redesigned nozzle.