Asarco's board unanimously recommended that shareholders reject takeover offers from Phelps Dodge and Grupo Mexico, challenging suitors for the copper producer to raise their bids. The directors also authorized management to begin seeking better offers. The offer from Phelps is valued at $1.98 billion in cash, stock and assumed debt, while Grupo Mexico has offered $2.05 billion in cash and assumed debt.
The Nasdaq Stock Market unveiled a new electronic display system that it says will give customers access to better prices and make it easier to execute trades quickly. Nasdaq has asked for Securities and Exchange Commission approval of the new system, designed to link all types of alternative trading networks and to make the market more transparent by revealing more orders. It hopes to adopt the new plan in about a year.
A Superior Court judge discharged a jury hearing a class-action lawsuit filed by New Jersey consumers allegedly injured by fen-phen, a diet-pill combination made by American Home Products. The move suggested that the judge anticipates a global out-of-court settlement for all fen-phen users--a deal reportedly totaling $4 billion--though details of a final agreement are still being discussed.
The Canadian Auto Workers reached a tentative contract agreement with DaimlerChrysler less than two hours before 13,800 union workers were set to strike. CAW President Buzz Hargrove said the deal was modeled on an agreement the CAW rank-and-file ratified last week with Ford of Canada.
A former Kidder, Peabody consultant agreed to pay $140,612 to settle SEC accusations that he and the firm "rigged" bids connected to a 1993 bond financing for Tampa, federal and state regulators said. The Securities Exchange Commission contended that Michael Cornblum and Kidder used fictitious bids to get the firm hired to help Tampa restructure a municipal-bond escrow account.
Disney, the world's second-largest media company, plans to close its five Club Disney family play centers Nov. 1, fearing new ones wouldn't generate a sufficient return. Club Disney sites--in Thousand Oaks and West Covina, Calif.; Chandler and Glendale, Ariz.; and Lone Tree, Colo., feature games and creative activities for young children and parents.
Intel agreed to acquire IPivot for about $500 million in cash as part of an effort to use IPivot's Internet equipment to extend the chipmaker's network-equipment business. IPivot sells machines that help Web pages appear more quickly by sending Web users' inquiries to computers that are less busy. They also speed the encryption of credit-card information.
Men's Wearhouse, the largest U.S. retailer of men's suits, said it will open 40 new stores by the end of this year and plans to add 40 more next year as it expands in the Northeast. The company will have as many as 450 Men's Wearhouse stores in the country by the close of the fiscal year ending in January, with at least 11 new stores in the New York area, President David Edwab said.
Talbots, a retailer of women's and children's clothing, said it expects fiscal third-quarter profit to exceed forecasts on higher-than-expected sales of fall merchandise. The company expects earnings of 56 cents to 60 cents a share for the quarter ending Oct. 30. Talbots was forecast to earn 51 cents, the average estimate of analysts polled by First Call. In the year-ago quarter, the retailer earned 40 cents.