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BIZWATCH : MARKETS.

MARKET LOGIC: Stocks returned to record levels as bond-market interest rates fell to a seven-month low on an Election Day bet that Republicans and Democrats will keep each other and government spending in check. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 39.50 to 6,081.18, the blue-chip barometer's best finish in two weeks.

MEMO

CITICORP COMEBACK: Citicorp closed above $100 a share for the first time, capping a five-year recovery and making it one of the best-performing stocks in the United States. The New York-based bank that lost $457 million and saw its shares slump to 8-1/2 in 1991 has returned 1,159 percent since then, or an average of 68 percent a year. It beat every U.S. mutual fund and the 20 largest companies in Standard & Poor's 500 stock index. Analysts are telling their clients Citicorp's rise won't stop now, with several betting the stock will reach $125 within a year.

TRUCKS OUTPERFORM CARS: Detroit's October sales reports had a familiar ring: Trucks were hot, cars were not. Overall sales were up 2 percent over a year ago, led by a 15 percent increase in light-truck sales. Total car sales were down 7 percent and Big Three sales were flat overall. But light trucks - the category that includes pickups, mini-vans and sport-utility vehicles - continued as the bright spot, comprising nearly 47 percent of total U.S. sales. Meantime, Mercedes sales were up 68 percent, Jaguar posted a 63 percent gain, while Volkswagen reported a 35 percent increase. Asian automakers' U.S. sales were up 4 percent.

TEXACO TUMBLE CONTINUES: Texaco's stock fell for the second straight day as investors grew more concerned that a racial scandal could hurt the company's bottom line. Shares closed down 3-1/8 to 94-1/2 in trading of 2.8 million shares, more than triple the daily average. The oil giant faces a federal investigation into whether senior executives destroyed documents sought in a racial discrimination case. Shareholders worry new accusations of misconduct could distract Texaco from such critical projects as negotiations with Shell Oil Co. aimed at creating the largest U.S. retailer of gasoline.

JUNK E-MAIL BATTLE: America Online has won the first round in its fight against cyberspace junk mail. A federal judge in Philadelphia ruled that the nation's largest commercial on-line service with 6 million subscribers ``has the right to prevent unsolicited e-mail . . . from reaching its subscribers over the Internet.'' Cyber Promotions, a Philadelphia advertising agency, contended it had a First Amendment free-speech, free-press right to send over the Internet unsolicited e-mail ads to AOL's subscribers. Last week, AOL announced a new tool called PreferredMail, which gives members the option to refuse mail from a list of junk e-mail sites.

A SLICE OF THE DONALD'S PIE: Rank Organisation PLC reportedly is asking Donald Trump for a slice of gambling profits in exchange for as much as $50 million to redecorate Trump's Castle casino with a Hard Rock Cafe theme. The negotiations, which were announced by Hard Rock's London parent Rank, are still in the early stages and an agreement won't be reached for at least another month, sources said. Long viewed as the weakest of Trump's three Atlantic City casinos, the 11-year-old Castle has been losing gamblers to the city's flashier casinos.

MISCELLANEOUS:Avcon Inc., which develops advanced electromagnetic systems, has moved its operations from Agoura Hills to Woodland Hills. The 8-year-old company has 22 employees and expects to hire an additional 15 workers next year. . . . American Airlines plans a three-year, $30 million expansion of its terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. . . . Data Systems of Agoura Hills won a $121,744 contract from McClellan Air Force Base in Sacramento for circuit card assembly.

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Title Annotation:BUSINESS
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 6, 1996
Words:634
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