Break-even, that cruel nag, had the blue-chips on a pretty short leash today. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average
twice tried to stray from her side -- first up, then down. But twice it was corrected, paring its gains and losses, and finally closing in shallow negative territory. The Dow lost 24.34 to 11,007.25, and the
shed 4.7 to 1340.30.
The action -- such as it was, with volume moderate at best -- was in technology, which was free to roam somewhat wider pastures than the range-bound industrials. Along with the small-caps, tech and Net issues rallied along with the bond market; the
Nasdaq Composite Index
gained 22.77 to 2526.39; the
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index added 21.18 to 635.33; and the
shot up 5.74 to 441.85.
Major European indices finished mixed: Germany's
lost 1.7% and London's
finished fractionally lower, while the Paris
surged late to gain 1.3% for the day. In Asia, news of a bid deal by
(see below) lifted Hong Kong's
165.77, or 1.3%, to 13,163.20. Tokyo's
added 30.49 to 16,977.01.
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is rumored to be in talks to acquire rival
, though any agreement isn't likely be reached for months, according to a wide array of reports. Neither company has commented on the rumors.
board authorized a buyback of three million shares.
HSBC is buying
Republic New York
and European affiliate
Safra Republic Holdings
for about $10.3 billion in cash.
Carpet tile producer
is not a takeover target, Chairman and CEO Ray Anderson said today. Anderson said that President Charles Eitel's recent public musings over the company's breakup value -- what the company what be worth if all its operations were valued independently -- were taken out of context.
International telecom provider
set plans to spend $5 billion over the next five years to beef up its network for voice, video and data transmission.
An Alabama jury ordered
to pay a total of about $581 million to three people who claim they were misled about the financing terms of a
Whirlpool Financial National Bank
credit card they used to buy a $2,000 satellite dish. The award, which Whirlpool will appeal, includes $975,000 in compensatory damages and $580 million in punitive damages. Whirlpool sold the financing subsidiary to
Shares of biotech
got hammered after the company announced that it and partner
will forego a June
advisory panel review of long-delayed erectile dysfunction drug
, a move that will result in a nonapprovable letter from the panel.
the drug's dubious data in
several stories. Zonagen closed down 9 5/16, or 46.71%, to 10 11/16.
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signed a deal that will have its personal finance channel carrying the online banking services of five large U.S. banks:
Bank of America
Union Bank of California
. AOL did not release details of the agreement.
is merging several of its Internet properties with community site
and Internet service
, a joint venture of NBC and
. The resulting entity will be called
Another 5% telecom stake for
. Days after its 5% investment in
, Softee set plans to spend $600 million for 5% of wireless phone company
. The two companies will work to provide Nextel customers Internet access via their phones.
is expected to trash its bid to buy Web portal
in the face of extreme opposition from shareholders, according to
The Wall Street Journal
, which cited people familiar with the deal.
For more tech news and commentary, click
The fallout from
mistaken bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia grew as China ended talks with the U.S. on human rights and arms control. In Beijing, demonstrators pelted the U.S. Embassy with stones for a third straight day.
Belgrade's quest to end NATO's air strikes takes to the
today in the first of two days of hearings; Belgrade has charged the alliance with violating international law and conducting a genocidal campaign. Meanwhile, Yugoslavia said it would partially withdraw its military and police forces from Kosovar, citing the completion of its fight against ethnic Albanian rebels in the province. Secretary of State
was not impressed, calling the move a "half-measure."
There's one less suitor for
Korea Life Insurance
today. U.S. mutual company
Metropolitan Life Insurance
has dropped out of the bidding, leaving France's
as the front-runners for Korea Life, the third-largest Korean life insurer, with about 18% of the national market.
Consolidation in the Norwegian oil industry may be in the offing:
has made an unsolicited takeover offer for smaller competitor
for about $2.2 billion in stock. The Norwegian government owns 51% of Norsk Hydro.
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, better known to many as Kimberly Drummond on the NBC sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes," died Saturday after mixing the painkiller Loritab with Valium. She was 34.
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