Citigroup fired three senior executives after a banking scandal in Japan. Deryck C. Maughan, a Citigroup vice chairman; Thomas W. Jones, chairman and chief executive of the global investment management division; and Peter K. Scaturro, head of Citigroup's private bank, lost their jobs. Japan last month ordered Citibank to close its private banking operations in the country. Regulators said Citibank employees failed to prevent transactions that may have been linked to money laundering, extended loans used to manipulate publicly traded stock and misled customers about the risk of some products.

Disney to Sell Shopping-Mall Stores

Walt Disney Co. will sell its 313 mall-based North American stores to Children's Place Retail Stores of New Jersey. Children's Place will keep the Disney name on the stores with a 15-year licensing agreement and three 10-year renewal options. The sale price will be based on the value of inventory when the deal closes. Disney will continue to operate the stores in its theme parks, as well as its flagship on Fifth Avenue. It is seeking a buyer for its European stores.

MORE NEWS

Bicycle maker Huffy said it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after widening losses. The company lost $7.5 million in 2003. In August the New York Stock Exchange suspended trading in Huffy stock because the company's market value had fallen too low.

A federal appeals court cleared away the final hurdle to an Alabama investor suit against former WorldCom bank Bear Stearns and former WorldCom executives Bernard J. Ebbers and Scott D. Sullivan, ruling that it cannot be delayed by U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote. Cote had ruled it had to be put off until a similar class action before her in federal court ended. A jury for the Alabama trial was selected Oct. 18, said lawyer J. Michael Rediker, and testimony will begin Nov. 8, he said.

PeopleSoft founder David A. Duffield, who took over as chief executive this month, told employees he's "not here to sell" the company to Oracle, which is trying to win a $7.7 billion hostile bid for the software maker. "I'm here to beat Oracle in the marketplace," Duffield wrote in an Oct. 18 e-mail to employees. "The best way for us prevent a sale to Oracle is to show the board and our shareholders that we can deliver greater long-term value," Duffield wrote.

A database at the University of California at Berkeley was hacked. It contained Social Security numbers and other personal data for up to 600,000 state residents. Officials say they have not determined whether any personal information was taken and have not seen signs of identity theft.

General Motors, anticipating slumping demand for its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra, said it will cut 900 hourly workers from its truck assembly plant in Pontiac, Mich., one of four plants in North America that make the trucks. GM said one of three production shifts in Pontiac will be eliminated in January.

Cynthia Cooper, a former WorldCom auditor who played a key role in exposing the company's $11 billion in improper accounting, was inducted into the Certified Public Accountants Hall of Fame. The American Institute of CPAs said Cooper's name became "synonymous with integrity when she exposed the fraud at WorldCom." WorldCom, which emerged from Chapter 11 reorganization in April, now does business under the name MCI.

INTERNATIONAL

European Union Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy proposed changing how trade discounts are given to developing countries. His plan would replace five separate trade tariff systems with three, including one that would offer more market access for up to 72,000 products -- if qualifying countries abide by international human rights, environmental and labor standards.

The French finance minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, urged his European Union counterparts to try to bring oil prices down and suggested speeding up energy conservation programs, pressing oil-producing countries to increase production and publishing figures on European oil stocks to improve market transparency.

Gucci Group replaced Giacomo Santucci as chief executive of its Gucci brand. Robert Polet, chief executive of the Gucci Group, will take over at the Gucci brand, effective immediately. Gucci gave no indication whether Polet's role at the Gucci brand is permanent.

RECALL

Zippo Manufacturing recalled about 101,500 multipurpose lighters that pose a potential fire hazard, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said. There were 27 reports of butane fuel spilling from the nozzle of black or silver Zippo MPL lighters, the commission said. People who own lighters with date codes G03, H03, I03 and ZH03 should remove the adjuster knob and return it to Zippo. The rest of the lighter should be disposed of safely.

EARNINGS

EBay said third-quarter profit was up 77 percent, to $182.3 million, from the comparable quarter last year. Revenue rose 52 percent, to $805.9 million.

Countrywide Financial, the nation's biggest home lender, said third-quarter profit fell 47 percent, to $582 million, as home lending slowed. Revenue declined 23 percent, to $2.45 billion.

J.P. Morgan Chase said third-quarter profit dropped 13 percent, to $1.4 billion, on weakness in the bank's trading operations and costs related to its merger with Bank One. Revenue was $13.6 billion, up 64 percent, much of it attributed to the Bank One deal.

Colgate-Palmolive reported that third-quarter profit fell to $329 million, from $365 million, because of higher marketing and raw-materials costs. Revenue rose to $2.7 billion from $2.5 billion.

Office Depot's third-quarter earnings fell nearly 2 percent, to $89.95 million, as back-to-school and European sales were weaker than expected. Revenue was up 3 percent, to $3.33 billion.

Diebold's third-quarter earnings were flat at $48.3 million. The Ohio maker of automated teller machines and security and voting equipment has mounting legal costs in its electronic voting segment.

MGM Mirage earned $126.9 million in the third quarter, up from $47.2 million last year. Revenue rose 6 percent, to $1.04 billion.

Harrah's Entertainment earned $118.8 million, up from $99.5 million. Revenue increased 25.5 percent, to $1.31 billion.

Norfolk Southern said its third-quarter profit more than doubled, to $288 million. Revenue was $1.86 billion, up from $1.6 billion.

Pfizer said its third-quarter profit rose 50 percent, to $3.34 billion, largely on strong sales of the cholesterol drug Lipitor and the pain reliever Celebrex. Revenue rose 4 percent, to $12.83 billion.

Wyeth reported a third-quarter profit of $1.42 billion, up from a loss of $426.4 million. Revenue was $4.47 billion, up from $4.08 billion.

United Technologies said third-quarter profit increased 13 percent, to $722 million. Sales were $9.34 billion, up from $8 billion. United Technologies provides high-tech products to the aerospace and building systems industries.

Eastman Kodak reported an increase in third-quarter profit on its sale of a remote-sensing business and gains in digital photography. The film manufacturer earned $479 million during the quarter, up from $122 million. Sales were $3.36 billion, up from $3.35 billion.

VeriSign reported a third-quarter profit of $40.4 million, up from a loss of $31.3 million. The company, which markets products for telecommunications and secure Internet commerce, said revenue rose to $325.3 million from $268.1 million.

Honeywell International reported an 8 percent increase, to $372 million, in third-quarter profit behind double-digit growth in sales for three of the aerospace and high-tech manufacturer's four business divisions. Sales were $6.4 billion, up from $5.8 billion.

RealNetworks lost $7 million in the third-quarter, compared with a loss of $3.7 million in the comparable quarter last year. The software company booked a charge from its antitrust litigation against Microsoft. Revenue was up 32 percent, to $68.3 million.

Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post staff writers.

Fuel costs rose at least 50 percent during the third quarter at Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Northwest Airlines, contributing to losses. AMR, American's parent, had a quarterly net loss of $214 million, compared with a $1 million profit during the comparable quarter last year. Delta's loss widened to $646 million from $164 million. Northwest lost $38 million, down from a profit of $47 million.