Friday, Aug. 13, 1999

Stocks end the day positively; Quest Software turns in strong showing; NYSE suspends Red Roof Inns' shares.
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Markets

Stocks ended the day in solidly positive territory after favorable economic data gave the market a boost this morning.

The big European indices also closed up, with France's

CAC

up 1.6%, Germany's

Xetra Dax

1.8% and London's

FTSE

1.5%.

Asian markets were mixed overnight: Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

dropped 171.57, or 1.3%, to 12,608.18 and Tokyo's

Nikkei

edged up 12.20 to 17,435.17.

More markets news and commentary are available in

TSC's

Markets section.

Companies

Active Software

(ASWX)

got a warm reception on its first trading day, rising 3, or 27.3%, to 14.

Quest Software

(QSFT)

also turned in a stellar performance, with shares more than tripling on the first trading day. The Newport Beach, Calif.,- based e-commerce provider of software shot up 32 7/8, or 234.8%, to 47 after being priced at $14.

Reynolds Metals

(RML)

received an all-cash takeover offer from

Michigan Avenue Partners

, an investment firm backed by

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

. The value of the bid was not disclosed though Michigan Avenue said it was higher than the $65 a share bid made by

Alcoa

(AA) - Get Report

on Wednesday.

Adecco

, a Swiss-based employment services agency, is in talks to acquire part of U.S.-based

Olsten

(OLS)

in a deal that could be worth $950 million, the

Journal

reported. Adecco said it plans to announce a takeover on Monday but declined to confirm rumors that the target is Olsten, which said a few days ago it was in talks for a "possible significant corporate transaction."

Family Golf Centers

(FGCI)

said it could file for bankruptcy protection if it doesn't successfully renegotiate the terms of its debt repayment. The company reported a second- quarter loss of 6 cents a share. The five-analyst earnings estimate was for 28 cents a share. The year-ago loss was 19 cents a share, which the company said included merger-related charges.

Bondholders of

Iridium LLC

(IRID)

, the debt-ridden satellite-telephone company, filed an involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition against the company. The group, which owns about 25%percent of Iridium's $1.45 billion in debt, is drawn from a group of holders owing about two-thirds of the company's senior notes.

Red Roof Inns'

(RRI)

shares were suspended on the

NYSE

after French hotel group

Accor SA

gained ownership of more than 99% of the economy lodging chain. Fewer than 600,000 of Red Roof's shares remain publicly held, and the Big Board said it plans to apply to the SEC to delist the company from the exchange.

Sabratek

(SBTK)

, a medical-devices and information company, said it will delay reporting second-quarter results until a review with independent auditors is completed. Earlier this month, the company warned of a shortfall in second-quarter profits.

Sbarro

(SBA)

a chain of cafeteria-style Italian restaraunts, said members of the Sbarro family will acquire all the shares they do not already own in a deal valued at about $389.4 million.

Texaco

(TX) - Get Report

confirmed a force majeure -- meaning it would not be able to meet its export commitments -- on exports of Nigerian oil as a result of continuing unrest in the Niger Delta. Yesterday the company expanded its worldwide job-cutting plans to 2,500, or 10% of its workforce, from the 1,400 it estimated last year.

More news on companies and stocks are available in

TSC's

Stock News section.

Tech

Lucent

(LU)

agreed to buy

Xedia

, a communications vendor, for about 3.86 million shares. Lucent said it expects the $246 million deal to be completed in the quarter ending Dec. 31.

Western Digital

(WDC) - Get Report

, one of the world's largest makers of disk drives, said it will cut 2,500 jobs, or 60% of its workforce in Singapore, as it moves manufacturing operations to Malaysia to trim costs. The move will result in a charge of $30 million and will provide significant savings, the company said.

Singapore, which pumps out about half of the world's disk drives, could be hurt if companies like

Seagate Technology

(SEG)

and

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

follow suit.

More tech news and commentary are available in

TSC's

Tech Stocks section.

General News

The

Labor Department

released figures showing the Producer Price Index rose 0.2% in July, a smaller-than-expected increase. The core rate of the PPI, which excludes food and energy costs, was unchanged. Analysts had expected a 0.3% increase in the July PPI and a 0.1% increase in the core rate.

Chicago Mayor

Richard Daley

said Thursday's debilitating power outage, which caused the

Chicago Board of Trade

to shut down early, has led the city to consider legal action against

Commonwealth Edison

, a unit of

Unicom

(UCM)

. Unicom CEO John Rowe didn't bother to defend the outage -- the third in a month -- instead saying that "heads will roll" as the company searches for answers.

International

Dutch financial group

ING

(ING) - Get Report

launched a friendly $2.45 billion bid for the 58% of Germany's

BHF Bank

it doesn't already own, making it the largest foreign takeover of a German bank. BHF said it backs the bid.

OAO Gazprom

, the world's largest natural gas producer, lost $7.1 billion in 1998 after a profit the year before as the ruble's plunge increased its overall debt burden, and it set aside cash to cover securities losses.

More international news and commentary are available in

TSC's

International section.

Elsewhere

A Seminole County, Fla., jail guard rewarded an inmate with coffee and cookies in exchange for beating another inmate who had flirted with a female colleague. Detention Deputy Jonathon M. Richmond is accused of asking inmate John Brinson to beat up cellmate Rodney W. Burnett, also known as "One Eye." After Richmond -- who has since been fired and charged -- escorted Burnett to the medical unit, he returned with six packs of coffee, some matches and a lighter and told Brinson, "Thank you. Good job."