Friday: And Thank God It Is - TheStreet

At least the week is over.

Today was another rough day for the stock markets. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

fell 47.22 to close at 6877.74. The

S&P 500

slumped 4.25 to 790.82. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

was off 3.66 at 1309.00. And the

Russell 2000

, which tracks small-cap stocks, slipped 1.10 to 360.05.

Meanwhile, the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond was flat today, with its yield holding at 6.80%.

Computer networking stocks again had a tough time.

3Com

(COMS)

, which reached an agreement Wednesday to acquire

U.S. Robotics

(USRX)

, fell 1 7/8 to 33 1/8. U.S. Robotics also dropped 3 1/4 to 55 13/16.

But some other tech stocks fared better.

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

added 2 1/4 to 141 7/8 and

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

climbed 1 1/4 to 97 1/2.

In other market news,

Cigna

(CI) - Get Report

reached an agreement to acquire

Healthsource

(HS)

for about $1.7 billion, including about $250 million in debt. The deal is worth $21.75 a share in cash. Healthsource's stock jumped 4 to 20 7/8, while Cigna's added 1/4 to 152 7/8. Cigna said the acquisition of the health maintenance organization concern would boost its 1998 earnings above the

First Call

consensus estimate of $15.23 a share.

Summit Bancorp

(SUB) - Get Report

reached an agreement to acquire

Collective Bancorp

(COFD)

in a stock swap valued at about $867 million, or a bit more than $42.51 a share. The transaction will bolster Summit's presence in New Jersey, making it an even more attractive takeover candidate. Summit's stock added 5/16 to 47 13/16, but Collective's fell 5/8 to 41 1/8.

Fleet Financial Group

(FLT) - Get Report

issued a statement saying "it knows of no corporate developments that would account for the market activity in its shares" as its stock climbed 1 1/2 to 61 on rumors that it would be acquired by

NationsBank

(NB)

. NationsBank, which declined to comment, fell 1 1/4 to 60.

Aluminum maker

Alumax

(AMX) - Get Report

said "there is no truth to the rumor" that it was about to be acquired by Norway's

Norsk Hydro

. The rumor was reported in the latest

Business Week

. Still, Alumax's stock finished the day up 1 3/4 at 39 1/4.

The job cuts have begun at the soon-to-be

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Discover

.

Dean Witter Discover

(DWD)

said it will cut about 200 employees from its investment banking and research staffs after the transaction is completed later this year. Its stock fell 1/8 to 33 3/8, while

Morgan Stanley's

(MS) - Get Report

stock fell 1 1/2 to 63 1/8.

Hilton Hotels

(HLT) - Get Report

extended its tender offer for

ITT

(ITT) - Get Report

to March 28 from Feb. 28. Hilton said so far it has received 710,000 shares in the $55-a-share tender offer. ITT has about 122.7 million shares outstanding. ITT's stock closed at 56 1/2, up 1/8, while Hilton's stock rose 1/2 to 25 1/8.

Seagate Technology

(SEG)

said it expects to gain back market share it lost recently in the desktop systems market and that it foresees no slowdown in high-end servers. The company's stock, however, fell 3 3/8 to 47 1/8.

General Cigar

(MPP:NYSE) jumped 5 to 23 on its first day of trading after its initial public offering.

CyberCash

(CYCH)

said it is making progress boosting revenue in its first quarter. "There's one thing on our mind, and that's revenues," the company's CEO said at a

Robertson Stephens

conference. The company's stock closed at 20, up 3 3/4.

Camco International

(CAM)

reached an agreement to acquire

Production Operators

(PROP)

in a stock swap valued at $575 million. Production Operators' stock climbed 3 1/4 to 48 7/8, while Camco's fell 3 to 38 3/4.

MMI

(MMI) - Get Report

plunged 6 3/4 to 22 3/4 after it reported disappointing earnings yesterday. The company is a health-care risk management firm.

Biofield

(BZET)

had its rating cut to hold from buy by

Hambrecht & Quist

after the

Food and Drug Administration

rejected the company's premarket approval application for the Alexa breast cancer diagnosis device. The company's stock dropped 5 5/8 to 4 3/4.

By Erle Norton

enorton@thestreet.com