A sweeping measure that knocks down Depression-era barriers and lets banks, investment firms and insurance companies sell each other's products and provide one-stop shopping for financial services was signed into law by President Clinton.

Abercrombie & Fitch said the SEC is probing its release of a sales forecast last month before the report was announced to the public, Bloomberg News reported. Investor-relations director Lonnie Fogel was told to take a leave of absence "because of this episode," the company said.

AT&T has told the FCC that it wants to end its operator-

assisted toll-free directory service and move the listings onto its Web site. The toll-free assistance phone line would close March 31. The company had not yet decided what to do about the 900 operators in four states who service the line.

Coca-Cola and its bottlers will fire about 1,290 people worldwide because of sluggish sales. The company, with the third-worst performing stock this year in the Dow Jones industrial average, will cut about 990 jobs overseas.

Filene's Basement, which has been operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for about three months, filed a reorganization plan that calls for closing 18 stores and laying off 900 employees. The company will retain 22 stores and 3,000 workers.

Midway Airlines' board formed a committee to consider a buyout bid. Two shareholders have offered to pay $8 a share to buy 4.5 million shares, the 53 percent of the Morrisville, N.C.-based regional carrier that they don't already own.

Berkshire Hathaway, the investment company controlled by billionaire Warren E. Buffett, said earnings from third-quarter operations fell 41 percent as losses mounted in its General Re reinsurance unit. Profit from operations, or excluding gains from selling investments, fell to $156 million, or $103 per Class A share, from $264 million, or $212, in the quarter a year ago.