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Biz bits

By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 16, 2003


-- Is it safe to invest in tech stocks again? Experts are divided, but bulls and bears agree there won't be a tech rally any time soon. Fred Hickey, editor of High-Tech Strategist newsletter, says in the April issue of Smart Money magazine that even though tech stocks are down 75 percent from their 2000 highs, they still could be cut in half again.

-- Don't hesitate to negotiate any point when buying a new car. If you've negotiated a good price and the dealer won't waive a "paperwork" or advertising fee, ask for free servicing or complimentary floor mats to offset the fee. Consumer Reports offers this and other car-buying tips in its April annual auto issue.

-- Meanwhile, Money says in its March annual new car issue that the Toyota Corolla is the best car for economy, the Infiniti G35 shines among sports sedans, and the BMW 5-Series is the best luxury car.

-- It's a good time to rent a vacation home. Brisk sales of vacation properties over the past few years, coupled with the sagging economy, have created opportunities for vacationers. In the Orlando area, for example, condos that rented for $125 to $150 a night a few years ago now go for as little as $80. See www.flausa.com for rental information.

-- Are you still using a product that has been recalled for safety reasons? Find out at consumerreports.org, which lists myriad products large and small that have been recalled in recent years. If you're curious about a particular item, you can search for it with identifying information such as a model number.

-- Compiled from Web sites and Times wires

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