Markets

The getting was good but the volume was thin for stocks today. Tech stocks outpaced blue-chips, which fell back late from session highs but still managed to post respectable gains.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

gained 41.32 to 9339.95, the

S&P 500

rose 1.88 to 1239.16 and the

Nasdaq Composite Index

jumped 22.95 to 2283.50. The small-cap

Russell 2000

gained 1.20 to 392.29, while

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index picked up 9.80 to close at 471.20.

European bourses closed mixed. Asian markets took hits overnight, as Japan's

Nikkei

lost 11.88 to 14,098.04, and Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

dropped 148.27 to 9254.12.

For more markets action and news, click

here.

Companies

Aetna

(AET)

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.

First Union

(FTU)

said that, in an effort to reduce costs, it may cut as much as 10% of its workforce, or about 7,150 jobs.

General Dynamics

(GD) - Get Report

has made a $1.36 billion cash takeover offer to

Newport News Shipbuilding

(NNS)

. Newport News Shipbuilding CEO and Chairman William P. Fricks said the offer, which may jeopardize his company's $470 million merger with

Avondale Industries

(AVDL) - Get Report

, "requires a careful assessment of the antitrust risk and reliable assurance that it is unlikely to be a problem."

Gillette

(G) - Get Report

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

UAL

(UAL) - Get Report

has made a bid for

America West Holding

(AWA)

, according to

The Wall Street Journal

. It's unclear yet what

Continental Airlines

(CAIB)

, which owns 8% of America West and the rights to buy the 49% stake held by

Texas Pacific Group

, will do.

TSC

columnist

Holly Hegeman

broke the news on UAL's interest in America West a month ago.

For more news on companies and stocks, click

here.

Tech

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

is buying

D.E. Shaw's

online-brokerage technology unit,

D.E. Shaw Financial Technology

.

Purple Moon

, the

Paul Allen

-funded maker of video games for girls, announced that it has stopped operating and laid off its entire workforce, about 40 employees.

For more tech news and commentary, click

here.

General News

Yugoslav President

Slobodan Milosevic

refused to meet with a U.S. diplomat to hammer out a last-minute peace plan with ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. Hill had intended to try to persuade Milosevic to accept the deployment of a NATO peacekeeping force in Kosovo and seal a peace deal with ethnic Albanians in Kosovo ahead of a noon Saturday deadline to avert NATO airstrikes.

The

Vatican

confirmed reports of its intervention in the extradition case of Gen.

Augusto Pinochet

. The Holy See said that it asked Britain to send the former dictator back to Chilean authorities about a month ago. Separately, Palestinian leader

Yasser Arafat

, in Rome to discuss the

Bethlehem 2000

project, today met with

Pope John Paul II

.

International

Gucci

(GUC)

set a poison pill in the face of

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton's

(LVMHY)

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

UBS

said that it plans to sell its 25% stake in

Swiss Life

to Swiss and international institutional investors at "market conditions."

For more international news and commentary, click

here.

Elsewhere

The

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

Anna Kournikova

.

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

really

dumb question? Even better. Send it to

MonEmailbag@thestreet.com, and

TSC

columnist

Herb Greenberg

and I will do our best to answer. 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 the latest MonEmailbag.

Concerned about the future of Net stocks?

TSC

is holding a special summit today to discuss the Internet sector. Join columnists

James J. Cramer

and

Herb Greenberg

,

Andy Kessler

of

Velocity Capital

,

Nicholas Moore

of

Jurika & Voyles

,

CIBC Oppenheimer's Henry Blodget

,

(WWWFX) - Get Report

Internet Fund manager

Ryan Jacob

and

Brian Salerno

of

Munder Capital

. You'll be able to listen to a live broadcast of the event and later read the transcripts -- but first, help us shape the discussion. Visit

this page for the details.