Boeing will pay at least $4.5 million under a four-year agreement with the government to end salary discrimination against women and minorities, the Labor Department said. Under the settlement, Boeing has agreed to pay $2.6 million in back pay and the rest of the $4.5 million in prospective pay adjustments at designated facilities. But the company must spend more if necessary after a company-wide review of its pay policies.

Sweepstakes players would be told that they don't need to buy a sponsor's products to win big prizes under legislation approved by the Senate and sent to President Clinton for his signature. The measure is designed to combat advertising pitches in 1 billion pieces of sweepstakes mailings sent out yearly that often are worded in ways that imply that entrants can increase their chances of winning a prize by making a purchase.

General Motors said the Internet-based purchasing system it is developing with software provider Commerce One will generate "significant" cost reductions next year. The two companies this month created TradeXchange, through which the automaker and other companies will scan the world for low bids from suppliers. They will be able to accept or reject the bids instantly via computer. GM could save as much as $500 million next year with the system, an analyst said., a Herndon online marketing company, saw its shares rise 60 percent on the first day of trading after the company completed an initial public offering of 4.2 million shares. The stock was priced at $14 a share, the high end of the estimated sales range, and closed at $22.37 1/2 as 6.3 million shares were traded. LifeMinders sends out e-mail reminders of dates such as birthdays and anniversaries and publishes dozens of advertising-supported online newsletters.


Caterpillar said fourth-quarter profit will be less than expected because of slumping North American sales of mining and farming machinery. It predicted its profit for the quarter will be slightly above third-quarter net income of $219 million (61 cents a share) on sales of $4.72 billion. Analysts had expected the company to earn 97 cents a share in the quarter.


Kia Motors recalled 83,403 of its 1998 and 1999 Sephia cars to repair windshield wipers. Kia, a unit of Korean automaker Hyundai Motor, will replace a faulty wiper link, which could disengage from the wiper motor and cause the wipers to stop functioning.