It took longer than expected, but the critical seven-day test of
the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant coolant system is finally under
After several days of delays caused by minor equipment
malfunctions, the so-called pressure test, which looks for coolant
leaks, began about 6 p.m. Sunday, owner First-Energy Corp.
On Monday, the reactor temperature hit more than 500 degrees and
2,155 pounds per square inch of pressure. Also Monday, employees
began the first visual inspection of the reactor. A final inspection
of the reactor will take place three days after the test
Provided the reactor passes the test, the plant could be ready to
restart in four to six weeks, pending approval by the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission, FirstEnergy said. The troubled Davis-Besse
plant has not been allowed to operate since shutting down in
GM vehicles probed for steering
The federal government is investigating a possible steering
defect that could affect 714,000 General Motors Corp. vehicles.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday it
has received 357 complaints that the steering in the vehicles locked
up or lost power. In some cases, the vehicles became difficult to
steer while making left turns.
The vehicles involved were built between Jan. 1, 1996, and Oct.
31, 1997, NHTSA said. They are: the 1996-98 Buick Regal; 1997-98
Buick Century; 1996-98 Chevrolet Lumina and Monte Carlo; 1996-97
Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme; and 1998 Oldsmobile Intrigue.
GM spokesman Jim Schell said the company is cooperating with the
T-bill rates edge up to high since
Interest rates on short-term Treasury securities rose in Monday's
The Treasury Department sold $15 billion in three-month bills at
a discount rate of 0.935 percent, up from 0.930 percent last week.
An additional $15 billion was sold in six-month bills at a rate of
1.010 percent, up from 0.995 percent.
Both the three-month and six-month rates were the highest since
Sept. 2, when the bills sold for 0.970 percent and 1.040 percent,
Sears in deal to sell National Tire
Sears Roebuck & Co., moving to concentrate on its department
stores, said Monday it had agreed to sell its National Tire &
Battery unit to TBC Corp. for $260 million.
National Tire & Battery has 226 locations nationwide. TBC's
purchase, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, will
increase its locations by 25 percent to 1,144. TBC is a
Memphis-based distributor of private-brand tires.
Shares of TBC climbed $2.57, or 11 percent, to close at $25.32 on
the Nasdaq Stock Market. Shares of Sears, which is based in Hoffman
Estates, Ill., ended down 23 cents at $45.61 on the New York Stock
AK Steel's reshuffle adds interim
AK Steel Corp. appointed an interim chief financial officer
Monday as it continued the management overhaul it started last week
when the company parted ways with its top two executives.
Albert E. Ferrara Jr., 55, the new financial officer, joined AK
Steel in June as director of strategic planning. He also has worked
for steel makers NS Group Inc. and USX Corp.
AK Steel's stock fell 5 cents to close at $2.27 on the New York
Isabel insurance claims stream
Thousands of claims have streamed in to insurers as residents
make their way back to their waterlogged and wind-blown homes after
Insured property losses from the storm could exceed $1 billion,
which would make it one of the 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S.
history, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Co., the nation's largest
personal lines insurer, reported more than 28,000 personal auto and
home claims in a nine-state area, said Mary Beth Cramer, a State
Farm spokeswoman. Allstate Corp. reported similar numbers.
Univision gets FCC's approval to
The government on Monday approved Univision Communications Inc.'s
$3.1 billion purchase of Hispanic Broadcasting Corp., letting the
nation's largest Spanish-language media conglomerate add 66 of the
68 radio stations.
Federal Communications Commission members voted 3-2 to accept the
deal; the three Republicans outvoted the two Democrats, who
contended the merger would hurt competition and limit entertainment
and news choices for Spanish-speaking Americans.
Univision already owns the Univision and TeleFutura TV networks;
the Galavision cable network; and 50 television stations nationwide.
With the merger, Univision would have the top Spanish-language
broadcast TV network, cable channel, record label, Internet site and
radio network, as well as the largest group of television and radio
Citigroup program to aid home
Citigroup is launching a $200 billion program to help moderate-
and low-income families buy homes. The program will include
mortgages with low down payments, reduced closing costs and help for
those with bad credit. As many as 2 million buyers could participate