After last week's manic action, stocks look like they'll start out this one on a more balanced note.
The market was firm going into the open, with Internet stocks getting a bid in premarket trading and traders confident that the recent signs of a broadening in the market will continue. "What's going on with the
indicates that investor confidence is spilling over into the other indices," said Bill Allyn, head of block trading at
. "Investor interest has broadened, and we're going to continue to see more of this. All those economically sensitive
issues will continue to benefit."
"It looks like Friday was just a nice pause," said Todd Clark, head of listed trading at
. Clark is monitoring whether the June
futures contract can crack 1372.50. "If you can see them get through there, I think you're going to see another leg on the upside," he said.
At 9 a.m. EDT, the June contract was up 1.5 to 1366.5, putting it about 2 above fair value and indicating a positive open. The 30-year Treasury bond was off 15/32 to 94 16/32, lifting the yield to 5.63%.
Tokyo stocks had a volatile day, with the
skipping as high as 17,143 before late-day selling. The index ended the day off 4.74 to 16,918.51
Confirmation of what everyone knew -- that
are each taking a 15% stake in
-- dominated Tokyo trading. The deal marks another attack on
, the world's largest telecom company. NTT and Britain's
Cable & Wireless
have been in a bidding war for long-distance provider
International Digital Communications
The Japanese telecommunications space is seen as a four-way battle among NTT, Japan Telecom,
, with the odds heavily favoring NTT. But as lesser players link up with foreign carriers, that could change.
broke 13,000, clearing another of the millennial marks that it fell through in the October 1997 market crash. But while utility and telecommunications stocks performed well, as did market heavyweight
, decliners led advancers as investors fretted that not all Hong Kong stocks deserve to soar with the market. The Hang Seng added 221.72, or 1.7%, to 13,127.02.
The way the European game of telephone works, the first person whispers that
are merging, and eventually people are saying that all telecoms are set to merge.
The sector is doing well today, helping the European bourses to some gains. In Germany, the
was up 45.29 to 5240.71. In Paris, the
was up 46.52, or 1.1%, to 4308.95. And in London, the
was up 68.8, or 1.1%, to 6496.8.
Monday's Wake-Up Watchlist
- Comcast (CMCSA) - Get Report spent the weekend with its bankers, trying to come up with a counteroffer to AT&T's unsolicited bid for
MediaOne (UMG) ,
The Wall Street Journal reported. While Comcast searched for ways to stave off AT&T, MediaOne negotiated a confidentiality agreement with Ma Bell, the first step in proceeding with formal merger talks, the
Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
First Union (FTU) is buying
Everen Capital (EVR) - Get Report in a deal valued at roughly $1.1 billion.
In other news (earnings estimates from
American Express (AXP) - Get Report Chairman and Chief Executive Harvey Golub plans to retire in April 2001. At that time, Ken Chenault, the company's president and chief operating officer, will succeed him as CEO. Golub plans to remain chairman for about a year after his retirement as CEO, at which time Chenault will take over as chairman.
AstraZeneca (AZN) - Get Report is close to completing the auction of its specialty-chemicals business, with bids received in the range of $2.1 billion, the
Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.
Bankers Trust (BT) reported first-quarter earnings of $1.30 a share, beating the six-analyst estimate of $1.08, but down from the year-ago $2.01.
eBay (EBAY) - Get Report is acquiring auction house
Butterfield & Butterfield for $260 million.
E*Trade (EGRP) said it has surpassed 1 million customer accounts.
Fort James (FJ) is selling its packaging business for $830 million. The company also announced a stock buyback program of up to $500 million over the next 18 months.
Global Crossing (GBLX) is buying
Global Marine, a unit of Britain's Cable & Wireless, in a deal valued at about $885 million.
Lycos (LCOS) said it launched
Lycos Radio Network, an online broadcaster, featuring music and video.
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette downgraded
Noble Drilling (NE) - Get Report to market perform from buy.
Oneok (OKE) - Get Report is acquiring
Southwest Gas (SWX) - Get Report, in a deal valued at $1.8 billion, including debt.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter initiated coverage of
priceline.com (PCLN) with an outperform rating.
Goldman Sachs also initiated coverage of priceline.com, putting it on its recommended list.
Sunstrand (SNS) first-quarter earnings of $1.02 a share, beating the nine-analyst estimate of 99 cents and up from the year-ago 88 cents.
Dow Jones Industrial Average component
Union Carbide (UK) posted first-quarter operating earnings of 52 cents a share, beating the 13-analyst view of 45 cents, but down from the year-ago $1.01.
Warner-Lambert (WLA) posted first-quarter earnings of 45 cents, beating the 26-analyst estimate by a penny, and up from the year-ago 33 cents.