Business Brief

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Ford says by the year 2010 half of all Mercury, Lincoln and Ford models will have gas-electric hybrid engines. They plan to produce 250,000 hybrid cars per year.

The company wants to distinguish themselves as industry leaders in safety and environmental protection. Ford plans to develop vehicles that run on alternative fuel sources like ethanol and hydrogen-powered fuel cells.

Manufacturers like GM, Nissan and Porsche have plans to roll out their own hybrid vehicles. Retail experts say it could be lean times and careful spending for most Americans this holiday season, thanks in part to Hurricane Katrina.

Consumers will spend more money keeping their cars running and their homes warm this winter, but there's still good news for retailers. Internet sales are expected to be strong as consumers try to save gas money by shopping from home.

Martha Stewart's new show "The Apprentice" Premieres Wednesday night, but investors have already tuned in to her company's stock. Shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia are four times more valuable today than when they were before her indictment for obstruction of justice in June 2003.

Critics say the show will cost the company and investors money as Omnimedia does not own the show.