Monday, April 12, 1999

Markets close up; Bear Stearns easily beats third-quarter estimates; Pulitzer winners announced.
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Markets

Investors had all weekend to mull over

Compaq's

(CPQ)

earnings warning (see below), and reacted by garlanding major indices with a new round of record highs. A frenzy of program selling on the

Nasdaq Composite Index

burned itself out early, as

new tech separated itself from old tech like wheat from chaff. The Comp finally managed to finish in the black despite slack performances among its big tech bellwethers. Blue-chips also came back from a slow start, closing sharply higher, while the Net sector went gangbusters from start to finish. The transports alone closed lower.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

gained 165.67 to a record 10,339.51; the

S&P 500

rose 10.29 to a record 1358.64; the Nasdaq added 5.69 to a record 2598.74; the small-cap

Russell 2000

shot up 6.46 to 412.32; and

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index shot up 58.51 to close at 790.44.

Europe's major indices finished mixed. But Asian markets got hammered overnight,

spooked by Compaq. Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

lost 169.36 to 11,744.74, and Japan's

Nikkei

dumped 348.23 to 16,507.40.

For more markets action and news, click

here.

Companies

Printing and graphics arts firm

Banta

(BN)

today announced plans to close three plants and eliminate about 650 jobs, or 9.2% of its workforce.

Bear Stearns

(BSC)

today reported earnings of $1.42 a share for its fiscal third quarter, easily topping the $1.15 a share

First Call

consensus.

The

Justice Department

is joining yet another whistleblower suit against

Columbia/HCA Healthcare

(COL)

. The suit, filed by a Columbia hospital CFO in Fort Myers, Fla., charges the company with defrauding

Medicare

by inflating charges for covered patients.

Ford

(F) - Get Report

is expanding its car service business by acquiring U.K. auto repair chain

Kwik-Fit Holdings

for about $1.63 billion in cash.

The

Pentagon

will likely block

General Dynamics'

(GD) - Get Report

$1.4 billion unsolicited takeover offer for

Newport News Shipbuilding

(NNS)

, according to

The Wall Street Journal

, which cited government and industry officials familiar with the matter.

Goldman Sachs

today confirmed that it is raising its IPO's price range to $45 to $50 a share from $40 to $45. It also named a 13-member underwriting syndicate, including Goldman as lead underwriter.

TheStreet.com

had the list

last week.

For more news on companies and stocks, click

here.

Tech

Adelphia Communications

(ADLAC)

, the fourth-largest cable company in the U.S., today announced that it is buying the cable TV systems of

Harron Communications

for about $1.17 billion.

Shares of Compaq are sinking in the wake of the company's announcement late Friday that it expects to earn about 15 cents a share for its fiscal first quarter, well under the

First Call

consensus of 31 cents a share. Compaq lately was down 6 3/4 to 24 3/16.

Joining the race for an industry standard for sending music over the Internet,

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

announced today that it is teaming up with online media company

RealNetworks

(RNWK) - Get Report

to develop music-delivery software.

For more tech news and commentary, click

here.

General News

Jurors today found

Susan McDougal

innocent of obstructing

Kenneth Starr's

Whitewater investigation by refusing to testify before grand juries, and a district judge declared a mistrial on two related criminal contempt charges against her. Prosecutor Mark Barrett called a retrial "obviously an option.''

Ignoring U.S. requests to refrain from missile tests, India yesterday sent a second-generation

Agni

missile on an 11-minute test flight over the Bay of Bengal. The Agni is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to any target in Pakistan and deep into China.

Nineteen

NATO

ministers met at alliance headquarters in Brussels in a show of solidarity in its air campaign against Yugoslavia, which has entered its 20th day. Meanwhile, Yugoslav state media reported that NATO bombs struck a passenger train in Serbia, killing 90 and injuring 16; NATO confirmed that a train was near a rail bridge that it struck today.

International

French conglomerate

Lagardere

said it is offering $2.84 billion to buy the 55% of

Europe 1 Communication

it doesn't already own.

The saga continues:

Telecom Italia

(TI)

failed to gain shareholder support of its proposed defense against

Olivetti's

$65 billion takeover bid, leaving the company looking for a white knight.

For more international news and commentary, click

here.

In the Papers

AMR

(AMR)

unit

American Airlines

and the

Allied Pilots Association

meet before U.S. District Judge Joe Kendall today to determine how much the pilot's union should pay American for losses stemming from its mid-February "sickout."

The Dallas Morning News

today reports on the union's strategy, which includes plans to call more than 200 members to testify that they actually were ill during that period.

The South China Morning Post

reports the latest on the warming battle for Hong Kong newspaper publisher

Sing Tao Holdings

. A group backed by U.S. financier

Sam Zell

is complaining to Hong Kong's

Securities and Futures Commission

that

Lazard Asia's

$524.5 million rival offer gives Sing Tao's minority shareholders short shrift.

Elsewhere

The list of 1999

Pulitzers

is in, with winners including

Michael Cunningham's

The Hours

for fiction;

Margaret Edson's

Wit

for drama;

Edwin G. Burrows'

and

Mike Wallace's

Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898

for history; and

Mark Strand's

Blizzard of One

for poetry.

Another

Masters

near-miss for the Shark.

Greg Norman

yesterday finished two strokes back of

Jose Maria Olazabal

, who took home his second green jacket.

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