Publish date:

Monday, June 14, 1999

Tech and Net stocks wilting fast. Nasdaq is expected to announce a new Japanese electronic trading system.

Markets

With an

ill-favored

Qwest

(QWST)

takeover bid and bad

eBay

(EBAY) - Get eBay Inc. Report

fallout fresh on the vine this morning, tech and Net stocks were already looking a bit peaked by the time

Fed

boss

Alan Greenspan

suggested to the Joint Economic Committee that recent productivity gains won't go on forever (see below). But the comment certainly didn't help.

Technology tanked today, with the

Nasdaq Composite Index

losing 49.59 to 2398.29 and

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index falling 48.14 to 502.10; the small-caps also suffered, the

Russell 2000

dumping 6.48 to 431.53. Blue-chips had a much calmer time of it: The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

added 72.82 to 10,563.33 and the

S&P 500

gained 0.36 to 1294.00.

The

Nasdaq Stock Market

is expected to announce tomorrow the launch of a Japanese electronic trading system, according to an array of reports, including the Japanese newspaper

Nihon Keizai Shimbun

. Nasdaq said it would make a "major announcement" at a news conference tomorrow at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

The big European indices finished mixed, with the London

FTSE

and the Paris

CAC

in the red and Germany's

Dax

fractionally higher.

Asian markets were little changed overnight, as Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

rose 14.81 to 13,007.57, while Tokyo's

Nikkei

slipped 9.73 to 17,188.82.

More markets action and news is available in

TSC's

Markets section.

Companies

Drug and medical supply distributor

Bergen Brunswig

(BBC) - Get Virtus LifeSci Biotech Clinical Trials ETF Report

said it has launched a Web site that will centralize the company's more than 4,000 independent and chain pharmacies by early July. The site,

myGNP.com

, will also let customers order over-the-counter health care and beauty products, according to the company, which didn't say whether prescription drugs would eventually be part of its Internet strategy.

Residential mortgage lender

Countrywide Credit Industries

(CCR) - Get CONSOL Coal Resources LP Report

is buying

Associates First Capital's

(AFS)

home and auto loan unit

Balboa Life and Casualty Insurance

for $425 million in stock and debt.

Natural gas and electric utility

Dynegy

(DYN)

agreed to pay about $2 billion in cash and stock for Decatur, Ill.-based utility holding company

Illinova

(ILN)

. Illinova said that

Chevron

(CHV)

will invest between $200 million and $240 million in equity in the new company.

Indiana Energy

(IEI) - Get iShares 3-7 Year Treasury Bond ETF Report

and Evansville, Ind.-based utility

Sigcorp

(SIG) - Get Signet Jewelers Limited Report

agreed to combine in stock transaction worth $709 million; the resulting company will be called

Vectren

. The companies said they plan to cut about 120 jobs, or 6% of their workforce, pursuant to the merger.

Medical products manufacturer

Maxxim Medical

(MAM)

is being bought for $379.6 million in cash by a management group led by CEO Kenneth Davidson.

TheStreet Recommends

Qwest Communications

(QWST)

is going toe-to-toe with

Global Crossing

(GBLX)

. Qwest made two separate bids worth a total of $55 billion in stock and cash for

U S West

(USW)

and

Frontier

(FRO) - Get Frontline Ltd. Report

, which the upstart telecom is attempting to buy. Qwest said it would pay up to $80 a share in its common stock for U S West and $20 a share in cash and up to $55 a share in stock for Frontier.

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report

bid $10.8 billion for U.K. supermarket chain

Asda

, beating

Kingfisher's

bid by about 18%. Asda's board recommended Wal-Mart's offer.

More news on companies and stocks is available in

TSC's

Stock News section.

Tech

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report

has upped its position in

Pets.com

to 54%, according to the online pet product retailer.

Web advertiser

DoubleClick

(DCLK)

is buying market research company

Abacus Direct

(ABDR)

in a $1 billion stock deal.

NextLink Communications

(NXLK)

will buy 2 million shares of Internet service provider

Speedus.com

(SPDE)

at $10 a share. NextLink will also pay Speedus.com $20 million to lease 150 MHz of broadband spectrum in New York City.

More tech news and commentary is available in

TSC's

Tech Stocks section.

General News

Fed

Chairman

Alan Greenspan

spoke this morning before the

Joint Economic Committee

on the use of technology in the economy. Never one to make a one-sided case, Greenspan credited technology with driving a "remarkable run of economic growth," but noted that the productivity gains behind that growth "cannot increase indefinitely."

The deployment of the

NATO

peacekeeping force to Kosovo continues today as more than 1,200 U.S. Marines take their positions in the portion of the province to be controlled by the U.S. The alliance is still trying to define Russia's role in the peace operation;

President Clinton

discussed the matter with Russian President

Boris Yeltsin

over the telephone today.

International

U.K. bus and train company

Stagecoach Holdings

is buying U.S. charter bus and tour operator

Coach USA

(CUI) - Get CUI Global, Inc. Report

for about $1.2 billion in cash.

French water and environmental services company

Vivendi

agreed to buy U.S. waste services firm

Superior Services

(SUPR)

for about $1 billion.

More international news and commentary is available in

TSC's

International section.

Elsewhere

Thanks in part to tireless plugging by the morning crew at

CNBC

,

Mike Myers'

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

raked in an estimated $54.7 million this weekend, giving it the highest-grossing opening ever for a comedy.

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