Monday, January 25, 1999

Stocks continue to meander; ADM's Dwayne Andreas steps down.
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Markets

U.S. stocks were trading modestly higher at midafternoon on moderate volume. Blue chips were bobbing in positive territory despite the weight of loss-leading

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

, still feeling the backdraft from Friday's big loss, and

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

, hurt by bad news from its pipeline (see below).

European bourses closed mixed, as did Asian markets, as Japan's

Nikkei 225

picked up 54.41 to close at 14,208.81, while Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

plummeted 239.02 to 9,499.50.

For more markets action and news, click

here.

Companies

Dwayne Andreas

, the 80-year-old chairman of

Archer Daniels Midland

(ADM) - Get Report

, has retired. He'll be succeeded by CEO -- and nephew --

Allen Andreas

.

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

reported fourth-quarter net income declined 53% in 1998, partly reflecting one-time charges from last year's merger of

Citicorp

and

Travelers

.

Eli Lilly's

(LLY) - Get Report

Prozac

patent-infringement suit against competitors

Barr Laboratories

(BRL)

and

Novartis

unit

Geneva Pharmaceuticals

ended with a whimper today as those companies agreed to not manufacture a generic version of Prozac in exchange for a $4 million payment from Lilly.

Automotive component manufacturer

Federal-Mogul

(FMO) - Get Report

will offer nearly $6 billion for the U.K.'s

LucasVarity PLC

(LVA)

, according to

The Sunday Times

.

General Electric

(GE) - Get Report

subsidiary and asset scavenger

GE Capital

has agreed to buy the leasing business of bankrupt

Japan Leasing

, a unit of the now-nationalized

Long Term Credit Bank of Japan

. Separately, GE Capital settled for about $100 million a class-action lawsuit alleging unfair debt collection by the company.

Shares of

3M

(MMM) - Get Report

spiked upward after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings exceeding Wall Street expectations. 3M's profit for the quarter declined 42% from the previous year.

Merck

(MRK) - Get Report

said Friday that it has scrapped plans to begin Phase III testing of potential blockbuster antidepressant

MK-869

. The stock was lately down 2 11/16 to 136 5/16.

Nursing home company

Vencor

(VC) - Get Report

said that co-founder

W. Bruce Lunsford

resigned as chairman and CEO, to be succeeded by current president and COO

Edward Kuntz

.

Warner-Lambert

(WLA)

posted fourth-quarter earnings of 40 cents a share, up 45% from last year.

For more news on companies and stocks, click

here.

Tech

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

posted fourth-quarter earnings of $1.12 a share, up 58% from last year. The company attributed the increase to cost-cutting and a booming mobile-phone services segment.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

said its board of directors has approved a 2-for-1 stock split. The split still requires shareholder approval. Separately, the company also said it will invest $500 million in U.K. cable company

NTL

(NTLI)

.

Netscape

(NSCP)

co-founder

Marc Andreessen

will be named chief technology officer of

American Online

(AOL)

, according to

The Wall Street Journal

.

For more tech news and commentary, click

here.

International

Swedish mobile-phone giant

Ericsson

(ERICY)

said it will cut 11,000 jobs over two years in response to slowing profit growth.

UBS AG

is downshifting. The Swiss banking behemoth said it will curtail its investment banking operations in favor of the private-client and asset-management segments and cut its earnings forecast for 2002 by 10%.

Figures from Japan's

Ministry of Finance

show that country's global trade surplus increased a hefty 40% in 1998. Japan's trade surplus with the U.S. increased 33.4%.

For more international news and commentary, click

here.

General News

Three

House

managers met for two hours yesterday with

Monica Lewinsky

to gauge her utility as a witness, against the objections of

Senate

Democrats who claim the interview undercuts the Senate's authority to determine witnesses in impeachment proceedings.

A U.S. and U.K. missile attack killed and wounded civilians in the Iraqi city of Basra, according to the official

Iraqi News Agency

.

Elsewhere

The

Vancouver Canucks

have replaced

Mike Keenan

with

Marc Crawford

as head coach.