Morning Briefing

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TWA Stock Off Market For 4th Trading Day

Trans World Airlines Inc.'s stock was off the market again Monday, marking the fourth consecutive trading day without activity.

TWA and the American Stock Exchange are discussing ways in which the airline can keep negotiations with creditors private, while still giving investors information on the talks.

TWA's stock is stuck at $1.87 1/2 a share.

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Caterpillar Labor Pact Ratified

Caterpillar Inc. of Peoria, Ill., said Monday that members of the International Association of Machinists had ratified an employment contract that boosts early retirement payments, increases wages and provides for job security for the next five years.

Under the new 4 1/2-year contract, employees will receive $200 a month in early retirement increases, about $10 million in increased wages and lump-sum payments, full health-care coverage with no premiums or co-payments and guaranteed job security through 1999, the company said. Bloomberg

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Sun-Times Reaches Agreement

Editorial workers at the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday reached a tentative contract agreement with American Publishing Co. Monday, avoiding a strike of 265 workers, a union representative said.

The three-year pact calls for a four percent pay hike in the first year and 2.5 percent increases in second and third years, said Shane Gericke, a representative with the Sun-Times unit of the Chicago Newspaper Guild. Reuters

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Tallest Building Changing Hands

Sears, Roebuck and Co. said Monday it will transfer ownership of the 110-story Sears Tower in Chicago through a trust to a pension fund partnership managed by Aldrich, Eastman & Waltch of Boston. The deal will reduce Sears' debt by $850 million, and the company will record an after-tax gain of $195 million, or 50 cents a share, in the fourth quarter.

Completed in 1973 the tower is 1,454 feet tall, topping the World Trade Center in New York by 86 feet. The building will continue as Sears Tower and Sears will keep its headquarters there. …