News In Brief

The US jobless rate held steady in November at 4.1 percent with little evidence of the wage inflation usually associated with low unemployment, the Labor Department reported. Average hourly earnings grew by a scant 0.1 percent to $13.41 after a 0.3 percent gain in October. An elated Wall Street reacted Friday by sending the Dow Jones stock average to its second-biggest point gain of the year - 247.12 - and a close of 11286.18.

The company at the center of history's largest hostile takeover fight may be at odds with its own shareholders, if a published report is correct. The German newspaper Welt am Sonntag said a group of Mannesmann AG stockholders sought a court injunction Friday to stop officers of the company from blocking the $124 billion buyout offer from Britain's Vodafone AirTouch Plc. Vodafone and Mannesmann are battling for dominance in Europe's burgeoning mobile-phone market. Mannesmann executives have rejected two Vodafone bids - the first was for $106 billion - as not in the interests of shareholders. A spokesman said the executives had not seen the injunction request and couldn't comment on it.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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