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Friday, May 21, 1999

Stocks close mostly lower in boring action; two tech IPOs make solid debuts; Olivetti wins majority control over Telecom Italia.


Don't make eye contact with this market. It's bored, and looking for trouble. Without any positive data -- let alone role models -- to focus on, the indices replayed

yesterday's performances on light volume.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

fell 37.46 to 10829.28; the

Nasdaq Composite Index

tumbled 22.12 to 2520.11; the

S&P 500

sank 8.54 to 1330.29; and Internet Sector index stepped down 1.41 to 623.38.

Again paying no mind to proxy peer pressure, the

Russell 2000

rose 1.12 to 449.14.

The big European indices finished split, with Germany's


up modestly but London's


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and the Paris


closing slightly lower. In Brazil, the


sold off hard in afternoon trading, plummeting 3.4%.

Asian markets were mixed overnight, as Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

slipped 103.28 to 12,272.14, while Tokyo's


gained 92.99 to 16,292.98.

For more markets action and news, click



AK Steel

(AKS) - Get AK Steel Holding Corporation Report

agreed to buy specialty steelmaker



for about $842 million in stock.


Federal Reserve

last night approved

Deutsche Bank's

$10 billion takeover of

Bankers Trust


, removing the deal's last major regulatory hurdle.

Chock Full o'Nuts


urged shareholders to reject

Sara Lee's


$10.50-a-share tender offer, calling it "an attempt by Sara Lee to acquire a competitor at a bargain price."

Fragrances and cosmetics firm


, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dutch consumer products firm



, is in preliminary talks to buy part or all of


(REV) - Get Revlon Inc. Report

, according to

The New York Times

, which cited executives close to the negotiations.

Taking the bait of a $2.8 million relocation incentive plan,

Magellan Health Services


, the nation's largest behavioral health care manager, set plans to move its corporate headquarters to Columbia, Md., from Atlanta. The company said it expects to create 600 new jobs by the end of 2001.

Eager to arm the company with currency for future acquisitions,

MCI WorldCom


shareholders yesterday approved a resolution to increase the number of shares the company can issue to 5 billion from 2.5 billion. Separately, CEO

Bernard Ebbers

said that he would not favor a stock split anytime soon.

Kevin Alibhai is resigning as president and COO of

Wyndham International

, the property management company whose shares are paired and traded with hotel REIT

Patriot American Hospitality

(PAH) - Get Element Solutions, Inc. Report


Rental Service


still wants to merge, but not these ways. The equipment rental firm last night dropped its $430 million bid for



and urged its stockholders to reject a hostile $22.75 a share tender offer from

United Rentals

(URI) - Get United Rentals Inc. Report

. Rental Service said it was hiring advisers to look at strategic alternatives for the company.

For more news on companies and stocks, click



Two tech IPOs had solid, if not spectacular, performances in their first day of trading.


(APLN:Nasdaq), a provider of Internet market research systems, rose 2, or 14.3%, to 16. And software company


(TENF:Nasdaq) gained 5 7/8, or 34.6%, to 22 7/8.

Feeling the pinch from slim boxmaking profit margins,



yesterday said it will try to buy Internet companies and increase its focus on high-margin training and software products.


gained 4 1/2 to 138 15/16 after

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

started coverage on it with a buy and a price target of 190.

For more tech news and commentary, click


General News


war plans continued to hammer Yugoslavian targets, taking out fuel depots in Belgrade. The attacks caused incidental damage to the residence of the Swiss and Indian ambassadors, according to the Swedish newspaper


and the private


news agency.



yesterday approved a teen-crime bill with an amendment attached requiring background checks for those buying firearms at gun shows and pawn shops.

Vice President Gore

cast the tie-breaking vote.


It's official.


has gained majority control over

Telecom Italia


in the largest hostile takeover ever pulled off in Europe.


Bank of Korea

released figures showing the South Korean economy expanding by 4.6%, the first expansion since 1997.

Minister of Finance and Economy Lee Kyu Sung

expressed his outlook as one of "conservative optimism."

Using its stake in mobile phone firm


as collateral, U.K. telecom giant

Cable & Wireless


is borrowing about $6.1 billion to make acquisitions and expand its network. C&W, which is currently in a bidding war with

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone


for Japan's

International Digital Communications

, will sell its 50% interest in One2One to a financing firm that will secure the loan from a consortium of banks, including

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Bank of America Corporation Report



(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

and France's



For more international news and commentary, click



Imagine being able to watch



attending class. The holy grail is now within the grasp of second-year MBA students at

Northwestern University's J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management

, which this fall will offer a course co-taught by hometown hero Winfrey and her boyfriend, businessman Stedman Graham. But any students expecting a cakewalk may be in for a rude awakening, based on the blistering preview that Winfrey gave reporters yesterday of the course, titled "Dynamics of Leadership." Graham and Winfrey "share the same beliefs in the importance of dynamic leadership in this country," she said.

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


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