Friday, April 22, 1999

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

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

IBM

(T) - Get Report

(see below) and big-losing

AT&T

(T) - Get 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

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

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

Nikkei

shot up 257.37 to 16,923.25.

The

National Association of Securities Dealers

yesterday called off the proposed combination of its

American Stock Exchange

with the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange

;

TSC

had a hard time finding anyone

who cares.

For more markets action and news, click

here.

Companies

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

MediaOne Group

(UMG)

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

Comcast

(CMCSK)

.

TSC

took a hard look at

AT&T's strategy this morning.

Conoco

(COC)

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

(COX)

yesterday set plans to acquire

Media General's

(MEGA)

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.

A

Food and Drug Administration

advisory panel yesterday unanimously voted to recommend approval of

SmithKline Beecham's

(SBH) - Get Report

diabetes drug

Avandia

.

TSC

last night

weighed the recommendation's impact on

Warner-Lambert's

(WLA)

Rezulin

.

For more news on companies and stocks, click

here.

Tech

E*Trade

(EGRP)

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

(NETP)

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

Launch Media

(LAUN)

, 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

here.

General News

In Washington to commemorate

NATO's

50th anniversary,

President Clinton

and British Prime Minister

Tony Blair

rejected Yugoslav President

Slobodan Milosevic's

offer to accept a

U.N.

-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.

International

Hyundai Group

, South Korea's largest

chaebol

, 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

here.

Elsewhere

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

Fox's

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

Have a dumb question relating to finance? Great. Have a

really

dumb question? Even better. Send it to

MonEmailbag@thestreet.com, and I'll do my best to answer every Saturday. Include your full name, and please, no questions seeking personal financial advice or regarding personal brokerage disputes. And this reminder: Because of the volume of mail, personal replies can't be guaranteed.

Click

here to read last Saturday's MonEmailbag.