Business highlights

Chrysler's $316.2 million third-period profit was a company record for the eighth consecutive quarter, but chairman Lee Iacocca says strike losses will stop the string. Mr. Iacocca said he expects the string to break in the fourth quarter because of strikes in the United States and Canada. Chrysler's 70,000 US auto workers returned to their jobs Monday after ratifying a new contract. The 10,000 striking Canadians went back a week earlier.

Chrysler also said it is offering $500 rebates or low-interest financing to buyers of its 1985- and 1986-model Chrysler LeBaron GTS and Dodge Lancer sedans.

Customers are being offered 8.6 percent financing for 48-month loans or 9.5 percent financing for 60-month loans through its credit subsidiary, Chrysler Credit Corporation.

Bargain air fares for connecting flights between dozens of cities have been announced by People Express Airlines Inc. and its new acquisition, Frontier Airlines. The airlines said Monday that fares for the flights between 83 cities will range from $99 to $199. The unrestricted connecting fares, effective Nov. 4, undercut competing airline fares by as much as 70 percent, a People Express official claims.

People Express bought Denver-based Frontier Airlines on Oct. 9, outbidding Texas Air Corporation and a labor group. Together, the two companies become the nation's fifth-largest carrier.

The airlines will continue to operate as separate entities.

The 45 million American families who heat their homes with natural gas can expect bills this winter to drop an average 8.3 percent, or $37, below last year's levels unless it gets unseasonably cold, according to energy forecasters. The American Gas Association, a trade group of pipelines and local utilities that buy, transport, and distribute the fuel, foresees residential gas rates this winter dropping by 49 cents per million Btu (British thermal units), to $5.41.

A Btu is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of a pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.

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