Monday, April 5, 1999

Good Monday: And on the first day after Easter, stocks rose. Pediatrix topples upon news of billing investigations.
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Markets

Everybody happy? Good Friday's bond rally carried over into today, and stocks took the cue, burning up the tape all day long. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

,

Nasdaq Composite Index

and

S&P 500

each closing at record highs.

The Dow gained 174.82 to 10007.33; the S&P 500 rose 27.40 to 1321.12; the Nasdaq added 66.72 to 2560.09; the small-cap

Russell 2000

hopped 3.55 to 402.29; and

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index continued its seemingly ineluctable ascension, picking up 25.74 to close at 683.17 -- another record, by the way.

Most European exchanges were closed today for the Easter holiday, while Asian markets were higher overnight. Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

rose 130.78 to 11,072.98, and Japan's

Nikkei

gained 44.59 to 16,334.78 following the moderately positive

tankan

survey (see below).

For more markets action and news, click

here.

Companies

Ameritech

(AIT) - Get Report

today said it will sell 20 Midwestern wireless properties to

GTE

(GTE) - Get Report

and a private partnership for $3.27 billion in an effort to meet

Justice Department

conditions on its planned acquisition by

SBC Communications

(SBC)

.

Hanger Orthopedic Group

(HGR)

today said it will buy

NovaCare's

(NOV) - Get Report

prosthetics arm (pun intended) for about $455 million.

Investment firm

Freedom Securities

(FSI) - Get Report

is trying to go super-regional. The company today announced plans to merge its Milwaukee-based

Cleary Gull

unit with the equity capital markets division of Boston-based

Tucker Anthony

, its flagship subsidiary. The new company will called

Tucker Anthony Cleary Gull

, or Tucker Cleary for short.

Investment banking firm

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts

filed with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

to cut its stake in

Gillette

(G) - Get Report

in half by selling more than 25 million shares worth more than $1.5 billion.

Shares of

Pediatrix Medical Group

(PDX)

plummeted today on news that the states of Arizona, Colorado and Florida are investigating the its billing practices. Pediatrix closed down 9 1/2 to 17 1/8.

Equipment rental goliath

United Rentals

(URI) - Get Report

has offered to pay $1.36 billion in cash and debt for

Rental Service

(RSV)

, jeopardizing Rental Service's plans to buy rival

NationsRent

(NRI)

in a $366 million stock deal.

For more news on companies and stocks, click

here.

Tech

Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

today launched its new

K6-2

microprocessor, which the company claims moves at 475 MHz, faster than

Intel's

(INTC) - Get Report

quickest

Pentium II

. AMD said that

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

plans to use the new chip in an upcoming

Aptiva

PC.

Lucent Technologies

(LU)

today said it will buy customer service software maker

Mosaix

(MOSX)

for about $145 million in stock. Meanwhile, Lucent will pay $250 million for

Libit Signal Processing

, which makes chips enabling Internet access through cable television, according to Ze'ev Holtzman, the chief executive of

Giza Investments

, which holds 7% of Libit.

Qwest Communications International

(QWST)

said today that it has secured a credit line of $1 billion from a consortium led by

Bank of America

. The company will use the loan to fund the construction of a nationwide voice and high-speed data network and overseas expansion.

For more tech news and commentary, click

here.

General News

Libya today turned over two suspects in the 1988

Pan Am

bombing that killed 270 people over Lockerbie, Scotland. The

United Nations Security Council

suspended its sanctions against Libya on the suspects' arrival in the Netherlands. Once extradited to British authorities, the two alleged former intelligence agents,

Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi

and

Lamen Khalifa Fhimah

, will stand trial in the Netherlands by a Scottish court.

NATO's

continuing air campaign against Yugoslavia is set to intensify, as the

Pentagon

yesterday agreed to send 24 Apache attack helicopters, 18 rocket launchers and 2,000 troops to Albania. Ready to begin relief flights of food and emergency supplies to displaced Kosovars, NATO said that 44,000 ethnic Albanians were expelled from Kosovo yesterday and estimated the number expelled over the past year at 831,000.

The

Bureau of Labor Statistics

released figures Friday showing about 46,000 nonfarm payroll additions last month, far below the consensus estimate of 166,000 and down from 297,000 in February.

TheStreet.com

reported on the jobs data Friday.

International

U.K. cable giant

Cable & Wireless

(CWZ)

is considering a

Merrill Lynch

proposal to combine the residential assets of its cable operations with rival

Telewest Communications

(TWSTY)

, according to

The Wall Street Journal

, which cited people familiar with the plan.

The

Bank of Japan's

quarterly tankan survey on business sentiment showed modest improvement. The small manufacturers' reading jumped to a negative 53 from a negative 56; midsize manufacturers improved to a negative 48 from a negative 52; and large manufacturers rose to a negative 47 from a negative 49.

Trying to make some world trade nice-nice, China today asked four foreign insurance companies --

Chubb

(CB) - Get Report

,

John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance

, Canada's

Sun Life Insurance

and Britain's

Prudential Corp.

-- to apply for licenses in that country.

For more international news and commentary, click

here.

Elsewhere

David Duval

sleepwalked to his fourth victory of the year at golf's BellSouth Classic this weekend. Duval won $450,000 and has now taken a whopping $2,598,300 in just eight starts this year, enough to break the single-season money record he set in 1998.

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