News In Brief

The US trade deficit hit an all-time high in June, the Commerce Department reported. It said a flood of foreign cars, computers, and clothing overwhelmed a small rise in exports. The trade deficit ballooned to $24.6 billion in June, a 16.3 percent increase from the $21.2 billion deficit in May. Imports of goods and services rose a hefty 3.9 percent in June to a record $103 billion. At the same time, exports managed a 0.5 percent gain to $78.3 billion, only the second increase this year.

Alcoa, the largest aluminum maker, has won a hostile bid for No. 3 Reynolds Metals Inc., reaching an agreement to acquire the company for $4.4 billion in stock. Pittsburgh-based Alcoa beat out the Chicago-based investment group Michigan Avenue Partners in the bidding for Richmond, Va.-based Reynolds. The accord values Reynolds at $70.88 3/4 a share, based on Wednesday's closing price of Alcoa. That represents a premium of 3.9 percent on Reynolds' closing price Wednesday and is 9 percent more than last week's bid of $65 offer from Alcoa.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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