U.S. stocks were gathering strength at midday. Tech stocks paced the market's gains, while blue-chips also trended higher.
European bourses closed mixed. Asian markets took hits overnight, as Japan's
lost 11.88 to 14,098.04, and Hong Kong's
dropped 148.27 to 9254.12.
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Chairman Richard L. Huber sent an apology to Teresa Goodrich, who was awarded $120.5 million from subsidiary
Aetna U.S. Healthcare
in connection with her husband's 1995 death from cancer. Huber had described Goodrich as a "weeping widow" after the judgment.
has made a $1.36 billion cash takeover offer to
Newport News Shipbuilding
. Newport News Shipbuilding CEO and Chairman William P. Fricks said the offer, which may jeopardize his company's $470 million merger with
, "requires a careful assessment of the antitrust risk and reliable assurance that it is unlikely to be a problem."
CEO and Chairman Alfred M. Zeien is stepping down, to be replaced by President and COO Michael C. Hawley on April 15.
United Airlines parent
has made a bid for
America West Holding
, according to
The Wall Street Journal
. It's unclear yet what
, which owns 8% of America West and the rights to buy the 49% stake held by
Texas Pacific Group
, will do.
broke the news on UAL's interest in America West a month ago.
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online-brokerage technology unit,
D.E. Shaw Financial Technology
-funded maker of video games for girls, announced that it has stopped operating and laid off its entire workforce, about 40 employees.
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confirmed reports of its intervention in the extradition case of Gen.
. The Holy See said that it asked Britain to send the former dictator back to Chilean authorities about a month ago. Separately, Palestinian leader
, in Rome to discuss the
project, today met with
Pope John Paul II
is taking a poison pill in the face of
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton's
gradually increasing stake in the company. Gucci diluted LVMH's ownership from 34.4% to 26% by granting employees options to buy 37 million new shares.
Swiss banking group
said that it plans to sell its 25% stake in
to Swiss and international institutional investors at "market conditions."
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Detroit Red Wings' Sergei Fedorov,
donated his entire 1998-99 salary -- $2 million -- to his newly created
Sergei Federov Foundation
for autistic and developmentally disabled children. "Hockey has provided me with a means to an exciting and fulfilling life," the hockey star said yesterday. Federov dates teen tennis star
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