Markets

After a wild ride, U.S. stocks ended pretty much where they began Monday, with blue-chips giving back big, early gains and tech stocks trading modestly higher.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

gained 2.84 to 9184.27, while the

Nasdaq Composite Index

gained 15.36 to 2208.05. The

S&P 500

lost 1.13 to 1228.10, and the

Russell 2000

dropped a scant 0.70 to 421.26.

The

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index gained 6.84 to 413.26.

European bourses surged on the first day of worldwide

euro

trading. London's

FTSE

overcame a slow start to close higher.

For more markets action and news, click

here.

Companies

Audio Book Club

(

(KLB)

KLB:AMEX) announced its acquisition of

Columbia House Audiobook Club

from

Columbia House

.

Bell Atlantic

(

(BEL)

BEL:NYSE) has confirmed that it is in talks to buy

AirTouch Communications

(

(ATI) - Get Report

ATI:NYSE), its partner in joint venture

PrimeCo Personal Communications

.

DaimlerChrysler

(

(DCX)

DCX:NYSE) is delaying the consolidation of its two financial services arms,

Chrysler Financial

and

Debis

, without setting a new target date.

Monsanto

(

(MCT)

MCT:NYSE) said Monday that it will start shipping anti-arthritis drug

Celebrex

within 10 days.

Online broker

E*Trade

(

(EGRP)

EGRP:Nasdaq) announced that it will split its stock 2-for-1 at the end of the month.

Objections from the

Federal Trade Commission

have killed

Imperial Chemical Industries'

(

(ICI)

ICI:NYSE ADR) plan to sell its

Tioxide

business to

DuPont

(

(DD) - Get Report

DD:NYSE) and

NL Industries

(

(NL) - Get Report

NL:NYSE).

PennCorp Financial Group

(

(PFG) - Get Report

PFG:NYSE) announced the sale of its "career sales" division and subsidiary

Professional Insurance

as part of its continuing effort to slim down operations.

Pool Energy Services

(

(PESC)

PESC:Nasdaq) said it is once again in merger talks with

Nabors Drilling

(

(NBR) - Get Report

NBR:AMEX), whose previous takeover offer Pool rejected last October.

Walgreen

(

(WAG)

WAG:NYSE) reported record sales and profits for its fiscal first quarter Monday.

For more news on companies and stocks, click

here.

International

International trading of the

euro

has began worldwide Monday.

Dresdner Bank

chairman Bernhard Walter said the company is still looking to acquire a U.S. bank and plans to list on the

New York Stock Exchange

this summer.

German media company

Kirch Group

has restructured into three holding companies, thus splitting its broadcasting, investment and pay-TV operations.

For more international news and commentary, click

here.

Tech

Intel

(

(INTC) - Get Report

INTC:Nasdaq) has introduced two new Celeron chips running at 366 and 400 megahertz.

Microsoft

(

(MSFT) - Get Report

MSFT:Nasdaq) is reportedly set to bid for two cable television franchises owned by

British Telecommunications

(

(BTY)

BTY:NYSE ADR).

Internet software company

Spyglass

(

(SPYG) - Get Report

SPYG:Nasdaq) said it expects a fiscal first quarter loss in connection with delays in licensing revenue recognition.

For more tech news and commentary, click

here.

General News

U.S. manufacturing activity declined for the seventh straight month in December, according to the

National Association of Purchasing Management

.

In a spirited speech to his Cabinet on Sunday,

Saddam Hussein

said that Iraq will continue to regard U.S. and U.K. patrolling of the no-fly zones as a violation of Iraqi airspace.

The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv reopened Monday after closing last week in response to terrorist threats.

Elsewhere

The final issue of

The Chattanooga Times

hit newsstands today. The paper's merger with crosstown rival

Chattanooga Free Press

leaves only 52 U.S. cities with more than one daily newspaper.