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BRIEFCASE WARNER ACQUIRES VIDEO GAME FIRM.

Byline: - Staff and Wire Services

BURBANK - Television and film studio Warner Bros. has expanded its interactive gaming capabilities by acquiring video game producer Monolith Productions, officials said Thursday.

Monolith, which has created ``Alien vs. Predator 2,'' ``Tron 2.0'' and ``No One Lives Forever,'' will become part of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, which licenses video games, co-publishes games and produces multiplayer online games, including ``The Matrix Online.''

Terms of the deal, which will close Oct. 1, were not disclosed.

$68,500 raised to help food banks

Ralphs Supermarkets and Food 4 Less Stores have raised $68,500 for food banks throughout Southern California, the Los Angeles-based grocer announced Thursday.

The funds were collected during a month-long campaign held in partnership with America's Second Harvest. Collection canisters had been placed near check stands in support of National Hunger Awareness Day on June 3.

Checks will be presented to local food banks next month.

30-year mortgage rates dip to 5.85%

WASHINGTON - Rates on 30-year mortgages dipped to the lowest level in nearly four months this week, providing more support for the booming housing market.

Freddie Mac, in its weekly nationwide survey, said Thursday that rates on 30-year, fixed-rates mortgages fell to 5.85 percent this week. That's down from the average rate of 5.99 percent last week and is the lowest level for 30-year mortgages since early April.

Rates on 30-year mortgages hit a high this year of 6.34 percent the week of May 13. Since then, they have slowly drifted downward.

Wal-Mart, Target report Q2 profits

NEW YORK - Despite slower sales gains this summer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. offered upbeat outlooks on consumer spending Thursday as they reported higher second-quarter results.

Wal-Mart's profit increased 8.6 percent and beat Wall Street projections by a penny per share. The company also raised its earnings forecast for the year, and said sales should pick up this fall. Target saw its profits almost quadruple due to a one-time gain from the sale of its Marshall Field's department stores.

Production cuts set for Saturn Ion

DETROIT - General Motors Corp. says it is trimming production of its slow-selling Ion compact car at its Saturn assembly plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., affecting 300 to 400 jobs, though union officials say no one will be laid off.

The automaker told employees this week it will reduce the number of work crews in the plant from three to two, effective Sept. 7.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 13, 2004
Words:408
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