Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Tristate summary

U.S. firms seek trade in Beirut

Wire reports

Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, General Electric and IBM are among more than 100 American companies planning to participate in the first U.S. trade fair in Beirut since Lebanon's civil war ended in 1990, the U.S. ambassador to Lebanon said Monday.

The Sept. 1-3 exhibition is part of a series of steps toward normalizing U.S.-Lebanese relations.

A U.S. government travel ban was lifted in July 1997.

Wendy's ads push lower-fat items

Wendy's International Inc. is joining a growing list of food makers and restaurant chains trying to appeal to consumers who are watching their weight or simply looking for healthier meals.

Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy's, the nation's third-largest fast food hamburger chain, is running test-market promotions of various meal combinations that highlight low-fat items that have been on the company's menu for years. The ads are running in New York City, Miami, Philadelphia, Columbus and Seattle.

The company said it is promoting four meal combinations with less than 10 grams of fat in the cities. The meal combinations include grilled chicken sandwiches, junior hamburgers and chili, along with salad, fat-free dressing and soft drinks.

Pellet maker's shares rise

Shares of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., the biggest North American maker of iron ore pellets, rose 13 percent Monday on speculation that the value of its stake in International Steel Group Inc. will surge when the steel maker sells shares to the public this year.

Shares of Cleveland-Cliffs rose $2.87 to $25.22 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

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