Friday, January 8, 1999

Stocks stay strong, AT&T opts against a consumer-biz tracking stock, Texaco takes a charge and say it again: Lamar!
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Markets

U.S. stocks were trading higher at midday, led by the indefatigable Internet sector.

The

Chicago Board Options Exchange

yesterday called off its merger with the

Pacific Exchange

.

TSC's

Dan Colarusso

last night offered his

take on the deal's collapse.

European bourses generally closed higher.

Asian markets were mixed, with Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

up 29.13 to 10,772.70 and Japan's

Nikkei 225

off 144.75 to 13,391.81.

For more markets action and news, click

here.

Companies

Marketing firm

Cendant

(CD)

said it will take a $220 charge for the 1998 fourth quarter to cover the costs of settling a class-action lawsuit related to last year's accounting scandal.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

(MWD)

and

Lehman Brothers

(LEH)

yesterday both reported fourth-quarter earnings far above Wall Street expectations.

Two passengers have filed suit against

Northwest Airlines

(NWAC)

after being held on a plane for eight hours during last weekend's snowstorm at

Detroit Metropolitan Airport

.

Texaco

(TX) - Get Report

announced a fourth-quarter charge of $350 million to cover firings and the reduced value of its oil holdings.

For more news on companies and stocks, click

here.

Tech

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

said it will not create a tracking stock for its consumer services business along with its purchase of

TCI

(TCOMA)

.

Software maker

Compuware

(CPWR)

said it will split its stock 2-for-1 for shareholders of record Jan. 26, without setting a date for the split.

Lucent Technologies

(LU)

reportedly is in talks to buy the 24.4% stake that Spain's

Telefonica

(TEF) - Get Report

holds in phone equipment manufacturer

Amper

.

Toshiba

said that it has produced a DRAM chip 40% smaller than present chips in cooperation with

International Business Machines

(IBM) - Get Report

and

Siemens

.

For more tech news and commentary, click

here.

International

Germany's unemployment rate rose to 10.8% in December from 10.7% the previous month, raising fears about the strength of Europe's flagship economy.

German cellular phone giant

Mannesmann

said its 1998 pretax profit rose 50%.

Three of Hong Kong's largest banks cut their prime rates by 25 basis points to 8.75% in an effort to spur lending.

The

Bank of England

cut its benchmark interest rate yesterday to 6.0% in anticipation of worsening domestic and international economic conditions.

For more international news and commentary, click

here.

General News

Former Tennessee Gov.

Lamar Alexander

(R) reportedly will form a presidential exploratory committee today.

Civil unrest continues in Indonesia, where thousands of people rioted in the town of Karawang today.

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 4.3% for the month of December, according to government figures.

Elsewhere

John Thompson

likely will announce today his resignation as

Georgetown University's

head basketball coach.