BUSINESS HIGHLIGHTS

GM cuts car production, announces layoffs Detroit GM is cutting car production at four plants, resulting in the indefinite layoff of about 4,700 employees. At the same time, production at two truck plants is to increase slightly, a company spokesman said, but with no new hiring or rehiring.

Ward's Automotive Reports said this week that GM had cut scheduled second-quarter output by about 90,000 cars, or more than 12 percent, because of dealer backlogs. GM declined to comment on the report but said about 2,190 workers at the company's Chevrolet-Pontiac plant in Van Nuys, Calif., would be laid off June 9. Texas bank to report large quarterly loss Dallas

MCorp, one of the nation's 20 largest banking companies, says it could lose $120 million to $130 million in the first quarter of this year because of a sharp increase in its reserve to cover bad loans.

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The steep drop in energy prices has prompted Dallas-based MCorp to set aside $210 million to $220 million in the quarter, which ended March 31, to cover possible loan losses, the company announced.

MCorp and many other financial institutions in Texas and the Southwest were expected to report earnings declines during the first quarter because of the drop in oil prices.

Major Wall Street credit rating firms have lowered the debt ratings of MCorp and several other Texas bank holding companies to reflect the adverse effects of the oil price drop on the companies' earnings and quality of its assets. IBM introduces laptop computer New York

International Business Machines Corporation has introduced a portable laptop personal computer, months after it was expected by the industry.

The unit, called the IBM PC Convertible, differs from laptops already on the market in that it features a detachable display screen that can be removed to convert the system into a conventional desktop computer using full-size display screens.

IBM said the PC Convertible features two 3-inch diskette drives, weighs less than 13 pounds, and is powered by batteries. It will be priced at $1,995. A modem is optional. TWA attendants vote to continue strike St. Louis

Flight attendants striking Trans World Airlines have voted overwhelmingly to continue their walkout, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The vote took place April 1 during a teleconference in 17 cities. It said that 97 percent of the 2,400 flight attendants taking part voted to continue the 3-week-old strike.

The 5,700 TWA flight attendants went out March 7 over proposed wage concessions and work-rule changes. TWA officials say the airline has resumed its full schedule after initial cuts when the strike began.

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