IBM (IBM) - Get Report said it signed up nine companies for an online marketplace to rival the Hewlett-Packard (HWP) and Compaq (CPQ) -led supply market.

IBM said the marketplace's technological structure could be developed through its current relations with




i2 Technologies


. An IBM executive wouldn't say if IBM had entered any agreements,


said. IBM said it would formally announce the plan within a month.

Keith Melbourne, general manager of H-P's trading community business, told


that the two tech giants could still work together on the marketplace. "It's still possible for the marketplaces to inter-operate or potentially combine," he said.

Dallas Fed

President Robert McTeer told the

Washington Association of Money Managers

that "U.S. inflation is showing signs of resisting arrest," which could ignite investors' fears of a 50-basis-point rate hike at the May 16

Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

McTeer, who has held the principle that higher productivity growth enabled the economy to flourish with lower inflation, also called the stronger-than-expected March

Consumer Price Index figure a "terrible number," according to



However, McTeer went on to say he thinks the overall U.S. inflation rate is likely to decline in coming months as energy prices ease.

In other postclose news (earnings estimates from

First Call/Thomson Financial

; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified):

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Global Crossing


said it is considering a possible sale of the local phone business that came with last year's acquisition of


. The long-distance carrier said it has retained

Chase Securities


Merrill Lynch

to review strategic alternatives for the incumbent local-exchange carrier.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews


(EXPE) - Get Report

posted a third-quarter loss of 40 cents a share, narrower than the four-analyst estimate of a 57-cent loss. The company does not have a year-ago per share comparison because its IPO was held in November 1999. The Web travel service, which is 85%-owned by


(MSFT) - Get Report

, posted revenues of $31.9 million, greatly surpassing the year-ago report of $11.2 million. Expedia attributed the strong results to the success of its hotel room and tour package sales.

Offerings and stock actions



, an online audio integration software maker, asked the

Securities and Exchange Commission

to pull its $63.25 million IPO, citing market volatility.




is also asking the SEC to withdraw its $56.6 million IPO because of recent market conditions.


Nabisco Holdings


said it plans to close two Nabisco Food warehouses in Chicago and San Bernardino, Calif., eliminating 134 jobs, or less than 1% of its workforce. Nabisco said it was closing the factories because it could improve operations and customer service by integrating the functions of the facilities into existing distribution networks for those regions.


New York Stock Exchange



(KEM) - Get Report

would not comment on its stock's recent climb. The shares finished the session up 8 9/16, or 11.4%, to 83 1/16.

Serena Software


said it tapped Mark Woodward as its president and CEO. Woodward will replace Richard Doerr, who will continue to serve on the company's board. Serena also said it expects to post first-quarter earnings either in line with or better than the three-analyst estimate of 9 cents a share.

For a look into this evening's after-hours trading action, please check out's

The Night Watch.