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Friday, April 22, 1999

Stocks close out a volatile week mixed; E*Trade sets a split; turning off the tube.


Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Such is the sense on Wall Street heading into the weekend. Another technology and Internet rally gave the week an improbably positive tenor, making Monday's bloodletting seem a mere flesh wound in hindsight. Meanwhile, a tug of war between big-gaining


(T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report

(see below) and big-losing


(T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report

kept the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

in shallow negative territory for most of the day.

The Dow lost 37.51 to 10,689.67; the Nasdaq gained 28.77 to 2590.38; the

S&P 500

shed 2.02 to 1356.80; the

Russell 2000

jumped another 2.88 to 431.73; and Internet Sector

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index added 20.41 to close at 679.72.

Major European indices finished mixed, while Asian markets were split overnight. Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

lost 28.24 to 12,905.30, and Japan's


shot up 257.37 to 16,923.25.


National Association of Securities Dealers

yesterday called off the proposed combination of its

American Stock Exchange

with the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange



had a hard time finding anyone

who cares.

For more markets action and news, click



AT&T made an unsolicited $62 billion takeover offer for cable company

MediaOne Group


; the offer is a 17% premium over the current value of the existing merger agreement between MediaOne and





took a hard look at

AT&T's strategy this morning.



filed an application to open an office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where foreign oil companies have been barred since 1973. The company said it hopes to open the office by the middle of this year.

Broadband communications company

Cox Communications


yesterday set plans to acquire

Media General's


cable systems in Fairfax County and Fredericksburg, Va., for about $1.4 billion.

General Motors

Vice Chairman

Harry Pearce

said today that rumors that

Jack Smith

will retire as chairman are unfounded.


Food and Drug Administration

advisory panel yesterday unanimously voted to recommend approval of

SmithKline Beecham's

(SBH) - Get Sally Beauty Holdings, Inc. Report

diabetes drug




last night

weighed the recommendation's impact on





For more news on companies and stocks, click





set plans this morning for a 2-for-1 stock split for shareholders of record May 7.

Two Internet firms are flying today in their first day of trading. Offered at $14 a share, shares of marketing software maker

Net Perceptions


traded as high as 35 and closed at 29 13/16; music Web site

Launch Media


, priced at $22 a share, finished at 28 3/8 after hitting an intraday high of 36 11/16.

IBM isn't done yet. Shares of Big Blue surged on the heels of yesterday's 13% gain, closing up 5 1/4 to 199 3/4.

For more tech news and commentary, click


General News

In Washington to commemorate


50th anniversary,

President Clinton

and British Prime Minister

Tony Blair

rejected Yugoslav President

Slobodan Milosevic's

offer to accept a


-controlled "international presence" in Kosovo if NATO stops its air campaign and removes its troops from Yugoslavia's borders. Meanwhile, NATO struck the headquarters of Serbia's state television station today, taking it off the air.

President Clinton authorized the drawing of $1.5 million from the federal

Crime Victims' Fund

to help victims of the Littleton, Colo., shooting pay for such expenses as funerals and medical bills.


Hyundai Group

, South Korea's largest


, today set plans to halve its debt and eliminate two-thirds of its units, cutting them to 26 from 62. Specifically, the group said it is trying to spin off

Hyundai Oil Refinery

and sell

Inchon Iron & Steel

. In the meantime, however, Hyundai is buying

LG Group's LG Semicon

chip unit for about $2.13 billion in stock and cash.

For more international news and commentary, click



Last night millions of Americans kicked off

National TV Turnoff Week

in the usual fashion, stupefied before a mind-bogglingly rich menu of comic and melodramatic stylings. Those observing the holiday will have their mettle tested during


Tuesday "Da Boom" programming block, a veritable "Amen Corner" of network broadcasting.

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