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BIZWATCH : MARKETS.

MARKET LOGIC: The stock market fell for a second day Thursday, pulled further from a record high reached earlier in the week as a weaker dollar and lower bond prices undermined the market's strength. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 92.75 points Thursday to close at 6,927.38.

MEMO

MATTHEWS MAKES DEAL: Burbank-based Matthews Studio Equipment Group has bought privately held Media Lighting Supply Inc. of Miami for close to $1 million in cash and stock options. Media Lighting Supply's management team will remain in place. Matthews said the deal will allow it to expand in the southeastern United States, Caribbean Islands, Central American and South American markets.

MERC PULLS PLUG: The Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Thursday pulled the plug on its Globex after-hours electronic trading project with Reuters Holdings PLC, which was plagued with trouble from its start. The exchange will join the New York Mercantile Exchange in adopting an electronic trading system run by French futures exchange Marche a Terme International de France, or MATIF. In exchange, MATIF and the Paris bourse will get to use the American exchanges' system for clearing trades at the end of the day.

WAL-MART AWARD SLASHED: A federal appeals court Thursday further reduced a $50 million award to a Missouri woman who accused her supervisor and an assistant store manager at Wal-Mart of sexually harassing her. A federal judge already had cut the award to $5 million in 1995, and the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals slashed it Thursday to $350,000, calling the previous amounts too excessive.

STRIKE ENDS: A three-week strike at plants in Plymouth, Mich., and Oberlin, Ohio, that make seats for Ford Motor Co. ended Thursday with tentative labor contracts between the United Auto Workers and Johnson Controls Inc. The UAW said the plants' contracts provide wage increases of 22 percent to nearly 50 percent over the next two years, a fixed-benefit pension plan, and the same paid holidays that Big Three autoworkers get.

EARNINGS

WELLPOINT STOCK RISE: WellPoint Health Networks Inc. shares rose $1.625 to $38.875 after the Woodland Hills-based health maintenance organization reported fourth-quarter earnings almost quadrupled as membership in its managed health-care plans increased. Net income was $47 million, or 71 cents a share, above the average Wall Street forecast of 66 cents.

J.C PENNY EARNINGS FALL: J.C. Penney Co. Inc. said Thursday its earnings fell nearly 73 percent in the fourth quarter due primarily to charges resulting from its purchase of several drugstore chains. In the quarter ended Jan. 25, Penney's earnings were $94 million, or 36 cents a share, compared with $326 million, or $1.31 per share, in the same period a year ago. Penney has been gobbling up several drugstore chains including, 1,724 Eckerd's stores, 200 Rite Aid stores, 97 Kerr Drug stores, and Fay's drugstore chain in the Northeast.

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Chart: (1--Color) DOW INDUSTRIALS

(2--Color) BIZ FACTS

WALL STREET`S LARGEST

Largest U.S. securities firms following the merger of Morgan Stanley Group with Dean Witter, in billions of dollars of capital

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Title Annotation:BUSINESS
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 21, 1997
Words:518
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