BRIEFS -- Stanley decides against move to Bermuda

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. -- The board of directors of toolmaker The Stanley Works decided late Thursday against relocating in Bermuda to save tax dollars, citing pressure from Congress and proposed tax law changes.

Stanley shareholders approved the overseas move in May, but the vote was thrown out because of complaints that the ballots were confusing. The company had been waiting for federal regulators to approve plans to hold a second vote.

John Trani, Stanley's chairman and chief executive officer, said congressional leaders had asked the company to support legislation to "create a level playing field."

Tyco chief financial officer resigns

CONCORD, N.H. -- Tyco International Ltd. said Thursday that its chief financial officer, Mark Swartz, has decided to resign.


Tyco is struggling to restore investor confidence shaken by months of questions about its complex accounting and the indictment of its former chief executive on tax evasion charges.

The announcement, made after markets closed, came in a letter to Tyco employees from newly appointed chairman and chief executive Edward D. Breen.

Exxon earnings plummet 41 percent

DALLAS -- Exxon Mobil Corp. said Thursday that second-quarter earnings fell 41 percent, and it blamed the decline on lower oil and natural gas prices and thinner profit margins in its refining business.

The weaker-than-expected earnings triggered an 8.5 percent drop in Exxon Mobil shares and the stock prices of other major oil companies also fell sharply.

Exxon Mobil said earnings in the three months ended June 30 were $2.64 billion, or 39 cents per share, down from $4.46 billion, or 65 cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenue slipped 9 percent to $50.91 billion from $56.18 billion.

General Motors sales soar 24 percent

DETROIT -- Powered by its summer marketing program and the popularity of its light truck line, sales of General Motors Corp. vehicles soared 24 percent last month compared with July 2001, the automaker said Thursday.


Ford Motor Co. posted its first monthly sales increase of 2002 on Thursday. Sales of GM light trucks were up 36.5 percent and passenger car sales increased 11 percent over July of last year.

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