Witching hour on Wall Street
Stock prices were mixed today as the market churned through a quarterly triple witching hour.
The Dow Jones average of 30 industrials slipped .27 to 3,315.43 in the first half hour of trading. Gainers outpaced losers by about 5 to 3 in nationwide trading of New York Stock Exchange-listed issues. Volume on the Big Board came to 61.61 million shares as of 10 a.m.
As usual at witching hours, activity was sharply increased by last-minute transactions of professionals involving expiring options and futures on stock indexes and individual stocks.
No Westinghouse radar contract
A radar contract Westinghouse Electric Corp. was counting on to stabilize its Maryland work force was awarded yesterday to Raytheon Co. of Lexington, Mass. The contract, which could lead to billions of dollars in business, is to develop a ground-based radar system for a missile defense system similar to the Patriot.
P&G quitting U.S. juice business
Procter & Gamble Co. is getting out of the juice business in the United States and focusing its beverage line on fruit drinks, it announced yesterday.
P&G is discontinuing its Citrus Hill orange juice brand next month and will seek buyers for its three other all-juice brands. It will take an after-tax charge of $200 million in the July-September quarter for restructuring costs.
U.S. to cut FHA mortgage fees
The Bush administration said yesterday it will reduce mortgage insurance premiums on 15-year FHA insurance mortgages, a move that could save homebuyers $2,500 to $6,000 over the life of a loan. The reform was announced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
DCC players to sell in Japan
Philips Electronics NV said yesterday that its new Digital Compact Cassette players will go on sale next week in Japan and in U.S. stores in November.
The DCC system, which offers CD-quality sound on tapes that can record and play back, will cost around $799 worldwide.
Armco makes stock offering
Armco Inc., which owns two stainless steel plants in the Baltimore area, announced yesterday that it is offering 2 million shares of cumulative convertible preferred stock, with a liquidation preference of $50 per share.
Computer auction tomorrow
An auction of 5,000 personal computers, printers and accessories -- most brand-new -- will be held tomorrow at Renaissance Park near Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia. Billed as the largest computer auction ever, it will begin at 10 a.m.