Also. . .

* Officials at Stanton-based Boyds Wheels Inc. said they have dismissed about 130 workers, shut down the custom-wheel maker's manufacturing operations and will ask the U.S. Bankruptcy Court this morning for permission to auction its assets, including the company's name and designs. Boyds filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization Jan. 30 after Boyds Wheels, its credit line frozen by its banker after a year of financial turmoil, ran out of cash. Boyds stock closed at $1.28, down 3 cents a share, on Nasdaq.

* San Francisco-based Bank of America said it will finance $500 million worth of 30-year fixed-rate mortgages for low-income home buyers that will require no down payment. However, all applicants must have excellent credit to qualify for the loans, which will be available in 23 states--including California--and in Washington, D.C. Other lenders have offered zero-down loans before, but BofA's program is by far the largest of its kind, mortgage industry observers said.

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