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NATION



Published: Thu, February 14, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



NATION

SEC proposestighter rules

WASHINGTON -- The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday that it will propose changes to tighten corporate disclosure rules.

Among other things, the new rules would require prompter filing by companies of their quarterly and annual reports and of stock purchases and sales by company officers and directors.

Car, truck salescause retail drop

WASHINGTON -- Consumers trimmed their spending on cars as free-financing offers waned, contributing to a modest drop in sales at the nation's retailers in January.

Outside of autos, sales rose by the largest amount in nearly two years.

Although overall retail sales dipped by 0.2 percent in January, virtually all of the weakness came from a drop in car and truck sales. Excluding auto sales, sales rose by 1.2 percent in January, the biggest advance since March 2000, the Commerce Department reported.

Hewlett-Packard triplesfirst-quarter profits

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- First-quarter profits at Hewlett-Packard Co. more than tripled on strong computer and printer sales to consumers, beating analysts' recently raised forecasts. Even so, executives said Wednesday that HP still needs to buy Compaq Computer Corp. to solve long-term problems.

HP is fighting hard to rally support for the $22.6 billion Compaq deal against intense opposition from dissident director Walter Hewlett, who said the strong earnings report proved that HP would be fine without taking on Compaq.

Associated Press




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