DOWN $4.37 1/2 PER $1,000
VS. JAPANESE YEN
Lockheed Martin said it won a contract to produce 50 F-16 fighter jets for Israel, which has an option for 60 more aircraft that could push the value to $4.5 billion. Bethesda-based Lockheed said in July that it had a verbal commitment for the 50 jets, valued at $2.5 billion, and Israel signed an acceptance letter in September.
BP Amoco filed notice with the Federal Trade Commission that it will complete its $35 billion buyout of Atlantic Richfield within 20 days, setting the stage for a court fight over the merger's fate. Under federal guidelines, the FTC can now allow the merger to go through or, as is expected, mount a legal challenge that would halt it until the antitrust case is resolved.
Fannie Mae, the nation's largest source of financing for home mortgages, will develop a new version of its automated underwriting system that will specify to lenders why borrowers weren't approved for loans, chairman and chief executive Franklin D. Raines announced. The District-based company is also launching a Fannie Mae True Cost Calculator, an Internet tool designed to calculate and compare all of the fees and charges of mortgage options.
Philip Morris and R.J. Reynolds raised cigarette prices about 7 percent to boost profit and pay for rising taxes and payments for a legal settlement. The 13 cent-a-pack price increase to distributors is the industry's seventh in about two years.
Carolina Turkeys recalled 146,000 pounds of turkey breast products distributed nationwide because some meat may be undercooked, the government said. The company recalled 9-ounce packages of turkey breasts that carry the code "P-7345" inside the U.S. Agriculture Department inspection seal. No illnesses have been reported, according to the USDA, which urged consumers to return the products to the place of purchase.
Eight major Hollywood studios, including Universal, Paramount, MGM and 20th Century Fox, filed suit in federal courts in New York and Connecticut against four programmers for distributing software on the Internet that defeats the encryption scheme used to protect DVD movies from being copied.
First Union said its fourth-quarter earnings fell 15 percent, to $846 million, as mortgage fees fell and it lost money on securities transactions.
EntreMed, a Rockville-based biotechnology company that focuses on cancer research, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell 3 million shares and an undisclosed amount of warrants.