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AVERAGE PRICE OF GASOLINE DECLINES TWO CENTS A GALLON

Gasoline prices nationwide continued to slide, with the national average down about 2 cents a gallon, as motorists cut back on driving amid a healthy supply of gas, the Lundberg Survey reported Sunday.

The weighted average gasoline cost, including all grades and taxes, was $1.2611 per gallon Friday, according to the survey of 10,000 stations.

That was down 2.06 cents from the Oct. 10 survey and down about 6 cents since the summer peak on Sept. 5.

"The dual reasons for the drop are lower demand and higher supplies," analyst Trilby Lundberg said.

At self-service pumps nationwide, regular gasoline averaged $1.2155, mid-grade was $1.3154 and premium was $1.3975. At full-service pumps, regular gasoline averaged $1.5838, mid-grade was $1.6681 and premium was $1.7366.

Ford, BMW interested in Rolls-Royce
LONDON (AP) -- Venerable luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce is for sale, and a number of foreign companies reportedly are interested in kicking the tires.

The sale will benefit shareholders and strengthen Rolls-Royce's car business, said Sir Colin Chandler, chairman of Vickers PLC, which bought the automaker in 1979. The company said today that Ford and BMW were among those interested.

A Ford spokesman, however, said his company was not interested in acquiring Rolls-Royce.

BMW said it had no comment. Another German automaker, Daimler-Benz, said was not ruling out an interest in Rolls-Royce.

U S West breaking in two
NEW YORK (AP) -- U S West Inc., the Colorado-based regional telephone company that also owns a cable television empire, said today it plans to split itself into independent telephone and cable companies.

U S West said the businesses should do better on their own than they would as parts of a single company.

The phone company would be called U S West Inc. and the cable company would be called MediaOne Group Inc.

Compaq, Dell big winners in PC war
NEW YORK (AP) -- Compaq and Dell are the big winners in a price-cutting war that left rival sellers of personal computers smarting, two business research firms are reporting today.

Overall industry sales in the U.S. grew at least 20 percent in the third quarter, buoyed by the top two PC sellers, Dataquest Inc. and International Data Corp. said in separate reports. Global sales rose only 16 percent partly due to weakness in Japan's economy.

But International Business Machines Corp., which didn't lower its prices in time to catch the buying trend, posted only single-digit growth and fell out of the top-three tier in U.S. sales. Its U.S. sales rose only 8.6 percent, Dataquest said, or 6 percent, IDC said.

Compaq Computer Corp. posted more than 60 percent gains in U.S. sales in the quarter, and Dell Computer Corp.'s sales rose by up to 74 percent. Hewlett-Packard Corp. also benefited from similar sharp price cuts, with sales surging 70 percent.

Louisiana-Pacific to slash 3,500 jobs
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Louisiana-Pacific Corp. said today it will sell $1 billion in timberlands, lumber businesses and other assets and reduce its work force by more than 3,500, or 27 percent, over two years.

The company is focusing on its core building products business where it feels it has a competitive advantage and opportunities to grow.

Ameritech buys stake in Danish firm
CHICAGO (AP) -- Ameritech has agreed to pay $3.2 billion for a 34 percent stake in Tele Danmark, Denmark's telecommunications company.

The Chicago-based regional phone company said today that eventually it will acquire more than 40 percent of Tele Danmark stock and will nominate six of the 12 Tele Danmark directors.

Yields on Savings Bonds to decline
Even though U.S. Savings Bond sales are slowing, the government is expected to cut the interest paid on Series EE bonds to 5.5 percent this week, according to data gathered for Money magazine's Small Investor Index.

The U.S. Treasury Department resets savings bond rates twice a year, on May 1 and Nov. 1. For the past six months, Series EE bonds have been paying 5.68 percent.

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