Thursday, June 3, 1999

Stocks meandered throughout the day. NYSE chairman retraces his steps and says extended trading hours aren't feasible until next year.
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Markets

The Federal Open Markeet Committee meets on June 30 to decide what to do with interest rates. That's a lot of time to kill.

Stocks bobbed up and down without conviction today, and a late-day technology selloff and blue-chip rally looked like so much squirming ahead of tomorrow's employment report from the

Labor Department

. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

added 85.80 to 10663.69; the

Nasdaq Composite Index

lost 28.67 to 2403.74; the

S&P 500

gained 4.78 to 1299.59; the smallish-cap

Russell 2000

slipped 0.76 to 435.98; and

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

dumped 22.31 to 534.30.

Stopping just short of announcing his retirement from basketball,

New York Stock Exchange

Chairman

Richard Grasso

said today that the exchange won't be able to introduce extended trading hours until next year at the earliest, citing the higher priorities of Y2K compliance and decimalization. Last Monday Grasso said that the NYSE might extend its hours as early as July. Before that, he had said it wouldn't extend trading hours before June 2000.

The big European indices finished higher, with France's

CAC

and London's

FTSE

advancing 0.9% and 0.7%, respectively. Frankfurt markets were closed for Corpus Christi Day.

Asian markets were mixed overnight, as Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

ended up 12.97 to 12,471.61, while Tokyo's

Nikkei

lost 190.49, or 1.2%, to 16,227.50.

More markets action and news is available in

TSC's

Markets section.

Companies

Pharma kingpin

Roche

set plans to buy the third of biotech

Genentech

(GNE) - Get Report

that it doesn't already own for about $4.2 billion. Roche then plans to spin off as much as 19% of Genentech to the public.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems

, a unit of defense firm

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Report

, set plans to cut costs by eliminating as much as 21% of its workforce -- that's about 2,000 jobs.

Railroad equipment companies

MotivePower

(MPO)

and

Westinghouse Air Brake

(WAB) - Get Report

are merging in a $557 million stock transaction. Westinghouse Air Brake shareholders will own 55% of the resulting entity, which will be called MotivePower.

War isn't hell for everyone. Defense firm

Raytheon

(RTN.A)

CEO Dan Burnham said today that his company expects that the U.S. government will throw about $1 billion of business its way as a result of the conflict in Kosovo.

Texaco

(TX) - Get Report

last night called off merger talks with

Chevron

(CHV)

, its board seeing "no compelling basis" to continue discussions since it found Chevron's offer "unacceptable in all respects." Chevron said it was surprised Texaco rejected its "very competitive offer."

Robert Lowes is stepping down as CFO of

Tricon Global Restaurants

(YUM) - Get Report

. No successor has been named.

More news on companies and stocks is available in

TSC's

Stock News section.

Tech

You've seen what the "e-business" buzz has done for

IBM's

(IBM) - Get Report

stock lately. So has

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

CEO

Larry Ellison

, who, at an event last night called "Oracle e-business Day," said the company plans to cut its expenses by $1 billion over the next year and a half by using its own technology. Without running through the math, Ellison also said Oracle will increase development spending and its sales capacity "very substantially."

More tech news and commentary is available in

TSC's

Tech Stocks section.

General News

The

World Trade Organization

approved a U.S. and Canadian plan to impose sanctions against the

European Union

in retaliation for the EU's ban on hormone-treated beef products. The WTO will allow the EU a neutral arbitration panel to decide the amount of the penalties.

The Yugoslav parliament approved the Kosovo peace plan, agreeing to a complete withdrawal of Serbian forces from the province and a

NATO

-led peacekeeping force, according to the state-run

Tanjug

news agency. Serbian deputy premier Vojislav Seselj said his Serb Radical Party, which voted against the plan, is breaking away from the government. The U.S.

State Department

spokesman

James P. Rubin

responded to news of the plan's approval by saying that the key is "implementation, implementation and implementation."

The

Labor Department

released figures showing

initial jobless claims

at 305,000 for the week ended May 29, a bit higher than the expected 299,000 and up from the previous week's 300,000.

International

U.S. leveraged buyout firm

Hicks Muse Tate & Furst

has won the bidding war for U.K. food group

Hillsdown Holdings

with a sweetened offer of $1.3 billion, too rich for rival bidder Candover Partners' blood.

Meanwhile, a battle for

Allied Domecq's

pub interests is shaping up.

Punch Taverns

said it's preparing a $4.2 billion hostile cash offer, which would top the bid

Whitbread

made last week.

Sumitomo

filed suit against

Chase Manhattan

(CMB)

and

UBS

, charging those banks with financing unauthorized copper trades that cost the company more than $2.6 billion in trading losses in 1996. Sumitomo is demanding $532 million from Chase and $229 million from UBS.

More international news and commentary is available in

TSC's

International section.

Elsewhere

The good news for

Knicks

fans:

Patrick Ewing

won't be bricking any last-second layups for the rest of the

NBA

playoffs. The bad news: He's out for that period with a torn Achilles' tendon.

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