Markets

At 9:15 a.m. EST the

S&P 500

futures finished the

Globex

session up 7.40, more than 3 points over fair value, indicating a positive open.

European bourses were generally higher at midday.

Asian markets closed mixed as Japan's

Nikkei 225

dumped 34.07 to close at 14,465.18, while Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

rose 92.65 to 9599.55.

For more markets action and news, click

here.

Companies

Specialty chemical firm

Rohm & Haas

(ROH)

has agreed to buy

Morton International

(MII)

for $4.9 billion.

TSC

columnist

James Cramer

thinks the chemical stocks are dying to please the Street.

New England Electric System

(NES) - Get Report

will pay $634 million for Boston-based

Eastern Utilities Associates

(EVA) - Get Report

. New England Electric itself is being acquired by the U.K.'s

National Grid PLC

.

For more news on companies and stocks, click

here.

Tech

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

this week is expected to announce that it will eliminate as many as 600 jobs at its plant in Cork, Ireland, according to

The Sunday Business Post

.

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

intensified its presence in the local phone service market by signing a deal that will allow it to provide phone service over

Time Warner's

(TWX)

cable systems in 33 states. Separately,

British Telecommunications

(BTY)

CEO Peter Bonfield told

The Sunday Times

that BT and AT&T are mulling over a possible alliance between their mobile phone operations.

For more tech news and commentary, click

here.

International

The Gauls have joined the European banking consolidation movement in a big way. France's

Societe Generale

has agreed to buy

Paribas

for about $18.2 billion, the resulting entity to rival

Deutsche Bank

for the position of Europe's second-largest bank in terms of assets.

French insurer

AXA-UAP

(AXA)

announced that it will buy the U.K.'s

Guardian Royal Exchange

for about $5.6 billion. This morning

TSC

reported on the new European mergers.

For more international news and commentary, click

here.

General News

President Clinton

today sent

Congress

a $1.7 trillion budget for the year 2000.

The impeachment trial proceeds today as

House

managers question

Monica Lewinsky

.

Elsewhere

John Elway

and the

Denver Broncos

squashed the

Atlanta Falcons

34-19 in last night's soporific

Super Bowl

, with Elway earning most valuable player honors.