Stocks were solidly higher as the morning wore on, with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

up about 80 points and the

Nasdaq Composite Index

up 19.

European bourses were mixed at midafternoon, and Asian markets closed mixed. Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

dropped 24.78 to 9229.34, and Japan's


gained 158.63 to 14,256.67 after the weekend

Group of Seven

meeting revealed no opposition to the weakening yen, which closed at 121.4 to the dollar.

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Dominion Resources

(D) - Get Report

has agreed to buy gas and oil-pipeline firm

Consolidated Natural Gas


in a stock swap worth $6.3 billion.

Southern California utility firm

Sempra Energy

(SRE) - Get Report

is buying national natural gas company

KN Energy


for $1.8 billion in cash and stock. Sempra will also assume about $4.1 billion in debt under the deal.

United Technologies

is expected to announce its $4 billion acquisition of aerospace parts manufacturer



today, according to

The Financial Times



Dan Colarusso

reported Friday on the heavy call-buying in Sundstrand.

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Advanced Micro Devices

(AMD) - Get Report

today unveils its long-awaited K6-III chip, which the company will pit against Intel's

(INTC) - Get Report

Pentium III.

(BYND) - Get Report

announced it will acquire privately held online software retailer


for 5.4 million shares of its own stock, a $133.65 million price tag, based on Friday's share price.

For more tech news and commentary, click


General News

U.S. warplanes dropped 11 bombs on anti-aircraft sites in Northern Iraq after being lit up by Iraqi radar.

Fighting erupted between Serbian troops and ethnic Albanian rebels today as the Kosovo peace talks near their extended Tuesday deadline.


Telecom Italia


rebuffed a $58 billion hostile takeover bid by


, which claims its offer will keep the company in Italian control. Riding on the deal's success is German engineering and telecom firm


bid to buy Olivetti's stakes in mobile phone company


and fixed-line firm


. The Italian government has stayed neutral on the deal so far.



said that it has ended talks with

Investor AB

to buy its 45.5% stake in truck maker


, with whom Volvo announced its intention to merge last month. But Volvo said that it does not plan to sell its 13% stake in Scania.

For more international news and commentary, click



Barbara Walters


ABC News


David Westin

will hold a news conference today to announce a date for the broadcast of Walters' interview with

Monica Lewinsky

. Walters, a highly respected journalist known for her news-breaking ability and dogged refusal to coddle guests, has said that ABC did not pay for the interview.

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


dumb question? Even better. Send it to, and



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.


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