Stocks open in a mixStock prices were mixed today, holding...

BUSINESS DIGEST

September 17, 1992

Stocks open in a mix

Stock prices were mixed today, holding in a narrow range as traders waited out interest-rate and currency developments in Europe.

The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials slipped 2.97 points to 3,316.24 in the first half-hour of trading. But gainers outpaced losers by about 3 to 2 in nationwide trading of New York Stock Exchange-listed issues,

Volume on the Big Board came to 28.22 million shares as of 10 a.m. on Wall Street.

Grocery workers OK pact

Workers at Giant Food Inc. and Safeway Inc. stores in the Baltimore area voted overwhelmingly yesterday to ratify a wage-poor but benefit-rich labor contract after an early-morning breakthrough averted a possible strike.

Employees at Giant, the dominant grocery chain in the Baltimore market, approved the company's new four-year contract with the United Food and Commercial Workers union by a margin of 2,006 to 615 yesterday afternoon, a few hours after Safeway workers voted 437-12 to ratify a similar pact.

Two MPA officials resign

Two high officials of the Maryland Port Administration have recently resigned from the state maritime agency, citing personal reasons.

Bruce D. Cashon, 43, the MPA's director of marketing for the past four years, submitted his resignation just before Labor Day, effective Sept. 8, Mr. Cashon said yesterday.

Lannetta Schmidt left her job as manager of planning Sept. 9 after giving notice several weeks before, she said yesterday. She had been with the port administration for six years.

Provident to buy firm

Provident Bankshares Corp. said yesterday that it plans to buy a Philadelphia-based mortgage company that last year originated nearly $260 million in home mortgages. At the same time, the Baltimore company said it set up a separate subsidiary to handle all mortgage-related activities.

The acquisition of Consolidated Mortgage Corp. is not expected to be completed until Provident receives a license to conduct mortgage banking in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where the five Consolidated Mortgage offices are located, according to Harold H. Johnson III, chief financial officer of Provident Bankshares. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

New offer for Continental

Germany's Lufthansa airlines and American billionaire Marvin Davis offered $400 million yesterday for Continental Airlines Inc., becoming the fourth group to enter the bidding war for the troubled carrier.

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