Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, March 10, 1999

Sears settles class-action suit

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. -- Sears, Roebuck & Co. has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit, by paying millions of dollars in cash and coupons to 11 million of its credit card holders.

The disagreement began when balances on credit cards were transferred to one of its subsidiaries, the Sears National Bank, Sears said yesterday. The new bank increased the credit card's annual percentage rate. Card holders said that was unfair.

They claimed Sears had made a commitment to not increase the APR. But Sears said it didn't do anything wrong and that card holders didn't understand the company's information on the terms of the change in credit. Under the settlement, which still must be approved in U.S. District Court, Sears will pay $72 million in cash and coupons to about 3 million customers -- or about $23.80 each.

Nasdaq-100 Trust begins trading

NEW YORK -- A new issue that tracks the Nasdaq 100 index opened for trading on the American Stock Exchange today. The new listing, the Nasdaq-100 Trust, was designed to mirror a Nasdaq index that includes the largest nonfinancial stocks in Nasdaq, including Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp., Northwest Airlines Corp., and Starbucks Corp.

The shares, traded under the symbol QQQ, opened at $102.25 and ended trading for the day at $101.87-1/2.

DaimlerChrysler won't buy Nissan

STUTTGART, Germany -- DaimlerChrysler AG, the world's fifth-biggest carmaker, said it won't buy a stake in Japan's Nissan Motor Co. or its truck unit, leaving Nissan with a heavy debt burden and Renault SA as its only known suitor.

Nissan, Japan's No.2 carmaker, has 4.3 trillion yen ($36 billion) of debt, a high for the automotive industry, and needs a cash injection. Renault Chairman Louis Schweitzer said the French carmaker is still studying a link with Nissan, Bloom-berg News reported.

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