Morning News Briefing

Morning Business News
Morning Business News

Stocks change little during election wait

Stocks meandered in light trading and then closed little changed Tuesday as investors held their bets to await direction from a cliffhanger presidential election.

Blue chips fluctuated in and out of positive territory as financial, defense and health care stocks gave back some of their gains from Monday. Technology stocks were volatile for a second day, pulled lower by concerns related to Cisco Systems’ earnings.

U.N. Dollars logs onto Web in $2 M deal

Jacksonville-based U.N. Dollars, which has been making investments in oil-and-gas businesses, said Tuesday it acquired an Internet company called Slide9 Networks Inc. for $2 million in U.N. Dollars stock.

Slide9 provides Internet connectivity and Web site services. Slide 9 expects to begin test marketing its service in the Tampa area this month and projects revenue of more than $200,000 a month by the end of its first year.

Office Depot warns of slacking sales in fall

Delray Beach-based Office Depot announced Monday its fourth-quarter earnings likely will fall short of Wall Street expectations, citing possible negative sales in its retail stores.

Office Depot said it expects earnings per share far below analysts’ estimates of 17 cents based on a survey by First Call/Thomson Financial.

The company said in July that it expected flat store sales in the fourth quarter, but announced Monday that sales during October and in early November continued a downward trend. Chief Executive Officer Bruce Nelson said higher warehouse costs than projected also could affect earnings.

If current trends continue, Office Depot believes that its comparable store sales for the fourth-quarter could be negative.

High-speed Internet provider coming

A new super high-speed Internet access service is coming to Jacksonville.

Orlando-based e-xpedient said Tuesday it plans to offer 100 Mbts (million bits per second) Internet access service before year-end.

That’s fast.

The e-xpedient service can download an 10-minute full-color video in eight seconds, compared to about four hours on a typical home dial-up Internet connection, or eight minutes on a T-1 line, a commonly used high-speed technology, said Angela Kendall, a spokeswoman.

The company, part of CAVU Inc., uses technology called “fixed wireless” to deliver its services.

Cost of the service starts at $100 per month for one to three business users and will not require contracts, said Kendall.

The company will have a staff of about nine in Jacksonville.