Thursday, July 22, 1999

Major proxies end in the red after Greenspan's comments, and tech takes the biggest hit. CSX sells unit's international shipping business; House approves tax-cut bill.
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Markets

Nothing like a speech by

Fed

boss

Alan Greenspan

to turn a mixed day decidedly negative. Stocks sold off hard while the G-man mused on such topics as inflation and the business cycle before the

House Banking Committee

(see below). And though the market came back a bit when he'd concluded, all the proxies ended squarely in the red.

As has been the trend this week, technology got the worst of it. The tech-centric

Nasdaq Composite Index

plunged 77.33 to 2684.44, and

TheStreet.com Internet Index

lost 21.66 to 593.65. The

S&P 500

shed 18.33 to 1360.96, while the small-cap

Russell 2000

backed up 3.14 to 451.49.

Largely on the strength of financials

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

and

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get Report

-- which were curiously unmoved by the interest-rate fears engulfing most of the market -- the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

fell a modest 33.56 to 10,969.22.

The 30-year Treasury bond lost 25/32 to 90 2/32, its yield rising to 5.971%.

The big European indices all finished solidly lower.

Asian markets were roiled overnight, as Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

dropped 50.60 to 13,369.06, and Tokyo's

Nikkei

plummeted 527.18, or 2.9%, to 17,730.34.

More markets news and commentary are available in

TSC's

Markets section.

Companies

European Union

officials raided the European offices of

Coke

(KO) - Get Report

and its bottling subsidiaries to gather evidence that Coke's sales practices may violate EU antitrust law.

Charles Schwab

(SCH)

inked a deal with

Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance

to set up retail brokerage operations in Japan. The venture will be operating by autumn, the firms said.

CSX

(CSX) - Get Report

sold the international shipping business of its

Sea-Land Service

subsidiary to Danish shipping and oil firm

A.P. Moller

for $800 million. CSX said it will focus on Sea-Land's domestic container shipping business.

Disney

(DIS) - Get Report

released third-quarter earnings of 20 cents a share, a penny above the 18-analyst

First Call

view and matching the figure from last year.

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

will recall 3.5 million trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans because of a defect in their antilock brake systems.

H.J. Heinz

(HNZ)

set plans to sell its

Weight Watchers

weight-loss-class business to European private investment firm

Artal Luxembourg

for $735 million. Heinz will retain ownership of the Weight Watchers line of foods and will retain a 6% stake in the class business.

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get Report

posted second-quarter earnings of 37 cents a share, matching the 18-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 33 cents.

More news on companies and stocks is available in

TSC's

Stock News section.

Tech

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

yesterday said it lost 51 cents a share in its second quarter, meeting the 21-analyst forecast and wider than the year-ago loss of 12 cents.

Bear Stearns

today cut Amazon to attractive from buy, and

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

increased its 1999 loss-per-share estimate for the company, which also set a 2-for-1 stock split last night.

America Online

(AOL)

last night posted fourth-quarter earnings of 13 cents a share, topping both the 30-analyst estimate of 11 cents and the year-ago 6 cents. The Internet service provider said its total revenue for the quarter came in at $1.38 billion vs. the year-ago $943 million.

barnesandnoble.com

(BNBN)

posted a second-quarter loss of 17 cents a share, 7 cents thinner than the three-analyst prediction and narrower than the year-ago loss of 21 cents.

More tech news and commentary are available in

TSC's

Tech Stocks section.

General News

The

House of Representatives

approved a $792 billion tax cut bill by a narrow vote of 223 to 208.

President Clinton

has pledged to veto the bill.

Fed boss Alan Greenspan delivered his semiannual

Humphrey-Hawkins

testimony on monetary policy before the House Banking Committee today. As usual, Greenspan marveled at the economy's recent productivity gains and the attendant low rate of inflation. But he also noted the difficulty of that trend continuing in the face of still-tight labor markets and a recovering global economy.

The

Labor Department

released figures showing

initial jobless claims

at 313,000 for the week ended July 17, a hair below economists' expectations and up 4,000 from the previous week.

International

Finnish food packager

Huhtamaeki

set plans to buy Dutch rival

Royal Packaging Industries Van Leer

for about $1 billion in cash. The deal will create the world's biggest manufacturer of paper and plastic containers.

Finnish cell-phone maker

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

said it earned 0.49 euros a share in its second quarter, essentially in line with expectations and up from the year-ago 0.31 euros a share.

More international news and commentary are available in

TSC's

International section.

Elsewhere

Talk about diversified operations. The

Securities and Exchange Commission

suspended trading today in bulletin board stock

Uniprime Capital Acceptance

over concerns about the accuracy of the company's claims that its

New Technologies & Concepts

subsidiary had successfully tested a product that had eradicated HIV from AIDS patients. The company -- based in Las Vegas -- said in a July press release that it's looking to buy at least 50 auto dealerships in an effort to make itself one of the nation's top 10 "mega-dealerships."

Feeling unappreciated at work? Try to keep it that way.

The Dallas Morning News

yesterday reported the sad plight of Dallas Utilities Superintendent Phil Warren, who was fired amid a scandal involving the misuse of departmental funds to hire a stripper who groped employees and performed lap dances at a mandatory staff meeting. Warren said that the striptease "was planned by my staff and done all in good taste. It made me feel like my staff really appreciated me."