If there were any way in the wild, wild world for us to skip tomorrow -- and, say, take the day off and observe
early somewhere away from this brutal Manhattan heat -- we would. Friday was a
gosh darn bore, and tomorrow promises more of the same. (Let's pray for at least a thimble's worth of merger mania or IPO excitement.)
But we can't play hooky. So instead, expect to suffer through excruciatingly low trading volume, TV pundits repeating themselves, repeating themselves and, if we're really lucky, maybe the sound of a clock ticking or water dripping. Wall Streeters, of course, will be waiting for the
Federal Open Market Committee
meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, from which most people in the biz expect a 0.25% hike in interest rates.
After that, maybe we can all move on with our lives. Last we looked, readers of
optimistic about a sweet hereafter. After all, the
coming week holds more than the FOMC meeting.
In corporate news, Germany's
said it will offer up to 285 million shares at $40.82 apiece in a $11.4 billion secondary offering. The issue was twice oversubscribed.
In early overseas trading, meanwhile, Japan's
was flat at 17,436.52. Australia's
index was off 4.5 to 2955.5 and New Zealand's
was down 13.6 to 2134.12.
said Saturday that South Korea's economy was expected to grow by 4% or 5% this year and in 2000. "The engines behind the recovery are the revival of consumption, restocking of inventories and demand for exports," Neiss told
. "In time, investments should follow."
said that, after receiving a positive letter from the former chairman of the
Federal Communications Commission
, it doesn't expect to encounter major obstacles from the agency to its proposed mergers with
U S West
. Qwest increased its hostile bids for U S West and Frontier last week.
Pepsi-Cola Puerto Rico Bottling
agreed to combine with two other Pepsi bottling franchises:
. The companies hope the deal will give them a strong presence in the Caribbean and expand their reach in the Midwest and South.
will hold a 24% stake in the combined group.
announced a new five-year labor agreement with the
United Steelworkers of America
From the rumor mill, Britain's
is considering a four billion pound bid for Anglo-American fund manager
. And today's
is in early talks with
Cable Management Ireland
about a $133 million merger.
From the "hmm" department came wire reports about
New York Stock Exchange
weekend trip to guerrilla-held territory in southern Colombia. Grasso was reportedly "exploring international opportunities" when he met with Raul Reyes of the leftist
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia
(which, by the way, is on the
list of international terrorist groups), and chatted about all the zip-a-dee-doo-da fun that is capitalism. Maybe Reyes will ring tomorrow's morning bell -- stranger openings have happened.
In the Papers
The weekend press, as weekend press is wont to do, gazes at navels more than anything else. The front of
The New York Times'
Money & Business section offers a bullish piece on
creative-friendly management style and a hopeful look at online bond trading. The "Market Watch" column (and where were you, Ms. Gretchen?) surmises that an IPO of the
Nasdaq Stock Market
just might make sense, and notes that Australia has already been there, done that with its stock exchange.
cover story is mid-year roundtable among the following nine hot-shots reflecting on their January market calls: Barton Biggs, Scott Black, Meryl Buchanan, Mario Gabelli, Archie MacAllaster, John Neff, Arthur Samberg, Oscar Schafer and Felix Zulauf. Good ol'
, meanwhile, writes about the shape of Einstein's brain.