Monday, June 7, 1999

Monday's session sails to a close, with major indices solidly up. Drug stocks are the only dawdlers.
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Markets

Amid no new economic data, stocks rallied from the get-go to the closing bell, just because. Technology was the spark, but by the end of the session even the transports had turned it around to close solidly higher. Drug stocks were a notable exception to the broad surge, finishing flat to lower.

All the major proxies closed higher. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

gained 45.80 to 2524.14; the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

added 109.54 to 10,909.38; the

S&P 500

picked up 6.77 to 1334.52; the smallish-cap

Russell 2000

took on 4.32 to 446.65; and

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index advanced 32.41 to 585.87.

The big European indices finished higher, with London's

FTSE

, Paris'

CAC

and Germany's

Dax

each posting strong gains.

In Brazil, the normally volatile

Bovespa

was down about 0.8% late in the afternoon session.

Asian markets moved higher overnight. Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

added 421.85 to 12,837.39, while Tokyo's

Nikkei

gained 175.14 to 16,475.89.

For more markets action and news, click

here.

Companies

AlliedSignal

(ALD)

is buying

Honeywell

(HON) - Get Report

for about $15.3 billion in stock and assumed debt.

Credit-crunched home equity lender

ContiFinancial

(CFN)

is selling its auto financing unit,

Triad Financial

, to

Ford Motor Credit

subsidiary

Fairlane Credit

. ContiFinancial didn't disclose terms of the deal.

Call off the fashion police.

DuPont

(DD) - Get Report

is cutting back its polyester production, laying off about 14% of the worldwide workforce in that segment.

Wisconsin-based

Harnischfeger Industries

(HPH)

, the world's biggest maker of mining equipment, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Harnischfeger, which said it has received commitments for debtor-in-possession financing of $750 million, will default on interest payments on its $1.3 billion in debt, including its bonds.

Investment banking firm

Lazard Freres

confirmed that it is combining its operations in New York, London and Paris. The company said the process will take six to nine months.

Utility holding company

NiSource

(NI) - Get Report

said it's making a $5.7 hostile cash takeover offer for natural gas company

Columbia Energy Group

(CG) - Get Report

. Columbia Energy, which rejected a previous offer by NiSource, said it is considering the bid.

Natural gas firm

Southern Union

(SUG)

is buying energy services company

Pennsylvania Enterprises

(PNT)

for $500 million in stock, cash and assumed debt.

Diversified manufacturer

Tyco International

(TYC)

is in talks to acquire British security and fire-protection equipment maker

Williams

for about $5.87 billion.

More news on companies and stocks is available in

TSC's

Stock News.

Tech

E*offering

(EOFR)

, the Internet investment bank 28%-owned by

E*Trade

(EGRP)

, launched

eoffering.com

, a Web site through which E*Trade customers can participate in IPOs.

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

and Taiwanese computer manufacturer

Acer

inked an agreement to buy about $8 billion worth of each other's products over the next seven years. Acer already makes most of the PCs that IBM sells under the Aptiva brand.

Fragrance seller

Perfumania

(PRFM)

set plans for an IPO of its Internet unit,

Perfumania.com

. The company will offer 2.5 million shares with a pricing range of $7 to $9 apiece.

Computer tutorial maker

ViaGrafix

(VIAX)

is being acquired by

7th Street.com

(SEVL)

for about $70 million in stock.

More tech news and commentary is available in

TSC's

Tech Stocks.

General News

Talks between

NATO

and Serb leaders collapsed overnight after Yugoslavian military leaders rejected the portion of the alliance peace plan calling for a withdrawal of 40,000 Serb troops from Kosovo. NATO said air strikes are "under way and accelerating toward their prior intensity." Talks between the military and NATO commanders are expected to resume later today, according to

Reuters

, which cited a senior Yugoslav government official.

The sodomy trial of former Malaysian deputy prime minister and reformist

Anwar Ibrahim

began today, with prosecutors changing for the third time the year they claim the alleged offenses took place. Ibrahim, who has already received six years in prison for corruption, could get as much as a 20-year sentence.

International

British Steel

(BST) - Get Report

said it is buying Dutch steel and aluminum firm

Hoogovens

in a deal valued at $6.5 billion.

French oil giant

Elf Aquitaine

(ELF) - Get Report

has upped its bid for Norway's

Saga Petroleum

(SPM)

to about $4.6 billion in cash and assumed debt, in expectation of a higher offer from industrial concern

Norsk Hydro

.

More international news and commentary is available in

TSC's

International .

Elsewhere

The

San Antonio Spurs

will represent the Western Conference in the

NBA Finals

, having beaten the

Portland Trail Blazers

94-80 yesterday. It's a mixed blessing for center

David Robinson

, who, with

Michael Jordan's

retirement, has already missed his chance to choke at the game's highest level against its greatest player ever.

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