People who don't maintain a minimum balance in their checking accounts are paying an average of $217.32 a year in various bank charges, up 9 percent from two years ago, according to a survey by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Consumers with accounts at big banks are paying on average 16 percent more than customers of smaller banks, the group said. Consumers in Maryland pay on average $258.82 in regular checking-account fees, the highest amount in the 33 states surveyed. Virginia has the sixth-highest figure, $206.11.

The Internal Revenue Service has extended until year-end the deadline for undoing Roth IRAs that were converted from traditional IRAs last year. The deadline had been today.

Sales at retail stores rose a stronger-than-expected 0.1 percent last month, the Commerce Department said. Its report, which showed robust consumer spending on items such as furniture, groceries and gasoline and most of the weakness focused in auto sales, took many economists by


Manufacturing and construction executives expect higher borrowing costs and a shortage of workers to cause slower growth in their industries, surveys by Dun & Bradstreet indicated.

The Chicago Stock Exchange received Securities and Exchange Commission approval to extend its trading session until 6:30 p.m. Eastern time and announced the new sessions will begin Oct. 29. The SEC also approved the Nasdaq Stock Market's plan to extend the hours of its stock-quote information system to provide after-hours traders the same information on prices and trading volume that is available during the regular session. In response to the SEC approvals, the Consolidated Tape Association will make the New York Stock Exchange's ticker quotes available to traders until 6:35 p.m.

INTERNATIONALCredit Suisse's Tokyo derivatives unit was raided as Japanese police stepped up a nine-month investigation that could result in the first prosecution of a foreign financial company in Japan. A Credit Suisse spokeswoman in Zurich wouldn't say what the police were searching for or whether they removed anything from the bank's premises.

Corel CEO Michael Cowpland was accused of three counts of violating securities law. The Canadian software maker's stock was halted on both the Nasdaq and Toronto stock exchanges before the announcement. The insider-trading investigation relates to Cowpland's sale of 2.4 million Corel shares in 1997, one month before the firm reported a surprising third-quarter loss.

EARNINGSAlliedSignal said third-quarter earnings rose 17 percent, to $386 million, on growth in its aerospace and turbocharger businesses. The industrial-products company's results included an after-tax gain of $59 million and charges totaling $54 million.

Boeing's third-quarter profit rose 37 percent, to $477 million, as its commercial aircraft division continued its recovery from costly production problems.

Charles Schwab, the No. 1 U.S. discount and Internet brokerage, said its third-

quarter profit rose 27 percent, to $124.5 million, even as it processed fewer stock trades than earlier this year due to unsettled financial markets.

General Motors reported that sales in North America and earnings from its finance arm pushed its operating profit to $877 million in the third quarter, rebounding from a loss of $309 million a year earlier, when the company was hit by two crippling strikes.

The New York Times Co. earned $60 million in the third quarter, up 9 percent from a year ago, on stronger advertising revenues at its newspapers and lower newsprint costs. The results included a $3.5 million charge for severance costs at the Boston Globe.

Unisys said earnings increased 72 percent in the third quarter, to $138.4 million, as improved overseas business and cost controls offset declines in computer networking and sales to the U.S. government.