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Thursday, January 28, 1999

Blue chips cling to gains while tech stocks go ever higher, and Pfizer announces a 3-for-1 stock split.


U.S. stocks closed sharply higher on heavy trading, as blue chips held onto gains and technology stocks drove the Nasdaq Composite Index to -- ho-hum -- another record high.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

gained 81.10 to 9,281.33, the

S&P 500

rose 22.13 to 1,265.30. The Nasdaq jumped 70.19 to 2,477.33. The small-cap

Russell 2000

hopped 2.84 to 423.96. Internet Sector

index rose 17.82 to close at 552.41.

European bourses closed higher, with the exception of London's

FTSE 100

, which lost 3.9 to 5,872.5.

Asian markets took a drubbing, as Japan's

Nikkei 225

dropped 107.74 to close at 14,342.32, while Hong Kong's

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TheStreet Recommends

Hang Seng

shed 358.70 to 9,360.96.

As sure as John Henry was a steel-drivin' man, the

Chicago Board of Trade

is sticking with the open-outcry trading system for now. Members voted Wednesday to nix the board's alliance with


, the fast-growing European electronic exchange system.

For more markets action and news, click



Bausch & Lomb


posted a $43.1 million fourth-quarter loss. Excluding one-time charges, the company earned 75 cents a share, a penny under Wall Street estimates.

Ending weeks of speculation,


(F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report

said it has agreed to buy the car operations of Swedish auto maker



for $6.45 billion. Volvo will retain its truck business under the deal.

U.S. auto and aerospace components manufacturer



beat out


(FMO) - Get Fiduciary/Claymore Energy Infrastructure Fund Report

in the bidding war for



, having agreed to acquire the U.K.-based auto-parts maker for about $6.6 billion in cash.

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Lockheed Martin Corporation Report

posted fourth-quarter earnings of 33 cents a share, down 66% from last year. Excluding one-time charges, the company earned 81 cents a share, down from 89 cents a share, matching analysts' expectations.


(PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report

announced plans for a 3-for-1 stock split, subject to board and shareholders approval at the company's annual meeting on April 22.

For more news on companies and stocks, click



America Online


last night reported fourth-quarter earnings of 17 cents a share -- 3 cents over Wall Street estimates -- and announced a 2-for-1 stock split.

The king of chips will double-dip.


(INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report

today announced a 2-for-1 stock split and raised its quarterly dividend by a penny per share.



James J. Cramer

spat up his coffee at the news.


(GTE) - Get Gran Tierra Energy Inc. Report

posted fourth-quarter earnings of 88 cents a share, matching Street expectations.

Web portal



said it has agreed to acquire electronic communities site GeoCities




broke the news of the talks last night.

For more tech news and commentary, click




Fuji Bank

will buy $2.6 billion of new shares to up its stake in ailing trust bank

Yasuda Trust and Banking

from 16.8% to 50%.

A government audit has revealed that municipal investment trust

Guangzhou International Trust & Investment

is dangerously close to bankruptcy. It is unclear whether the Chinese government would save the trust if it became insolvent.


Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association

released figures today showing Japanese auto production fell 8% last year, the first decline in three years.

Swedish cell-phone maker



said its fourth-quarter net income dropped 3% from last year, citing weak demand for fixed-line switches and falling prices for mobile phones. The company's lower profits still beat expectations, though. Last night


previewed the earnings report.

The government of Venezuela last night filed a lawsuit seeking billions of dollars in damages from

Brown & Williamson


British American Tobacco

(BTI) - Get British American Tobacco Industries p.l.c. ADR Report


Philip Morris

(MO) - Get Altria Group Inc. Report


RJR Nabisco



R.J. Reynolds Tobacco





Lorillard Tobacco


Brooke Group



Liggett Group


For more international news and commentary, click


General News

Steel imports from Japan were 47% lower than the previous month, according to U.S.

Commerce Department


Federal Reserve


Alan Greenspan

played the heavy today before the

Senate Budget Committee

, saying that, in the long term, Social Security could only be saved by raising taxes or cutting benefits.


Labor Department


Employment Cost Index

figures showing wages and benefits rising 3.4% in 1998, the fastest clip in five years.

Arthur Levitt

, chairman of the

Securities and Exchange Commission

, yesterday issued a statement warning investors of the "highly risky" nature of day trading and electronic trading in particular. Last night


contextualized Levitt's comments.


Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan commuted the death sentence of triple murderer to life without parole after Pope John Paul II strongly denounced capital punishment during a Wednesday morning Mass in St. Louis.

Censure, anyone? Former


football player

Christopher Gamble

pleaded guilty to lying to a federal grand jury investigating illegal sports betting and could face up to a year in prison on the charge. However, prosecutors said they would consider seeking a lighter sentence if Gamble is helpful in their investigation.