News In Brief

Smith & Wesson, the biggest ammunitions manufacturer

in the US, is reportedly seeking a buyer. The Mail, a British newspaper, quoted an unnamed source as saying the company's parent corporation, Tomkins PLC, is putting the Springfield, Mass., gunmaker up for sale. The Mail suggested the sale could be for more than $160 million. A Smith & Wesson spokesman said the company is shifting away from firearms production and leaning toward automotive products. The company has been embroiled in a series of lawsuits blaming gunmakers for roles in gun violence.

Because Y2K worries failed to create a run on banks, billions of dollars in extra cash distributed to them in anticipation of possible end-of-year demand is being returned to regional Federal Reserve banks. Since the money never circulated, it's not expected to impact the economy.

If 2000 is anything like last year, it could be another big

year for initial public stock offerings. Investors poured a record $69 billion into 546 first-time US stock offerings, many of them technology and Internet companies.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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