Markets

Now

that's

some Dow 10K drama. The blue-chips closed just under the magic mark despite a furious run in the last half hour of trading. Traders went home carrying prematurely-tossed souvenir "Dow 10K" hats.

The market boomed across the board. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

gained 118.21 to 9997.62; the

S&P 500

rose 18.73 to 1316.55; the

Nasdaq Composite Index

jumped 33.99 to 2462.96; the small-cap

Russell 2000

twitched up 1.12 to 399.55; and

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index added 8.53 to close at 617.46.

Things were considerably less rosy across the ponds. European bourses closed solidly lower, and resurgent Asian markets gave back some of their recent gains overnight. Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

fell 280.75 to 10,659.32, and Japan's

Nikkei

sank 550.19 to 15,717.92.

For more markets action and news, click

here.

Companies

American Airlines

parent

AMR

(AMR)

warned that first-quarter earnings will be between 30 to 35 cents a share, far below the

First Call

consensus of 65 cents a share. The company said its pilot union's sickout cost it about $200 million in pretax earnings.

Barnes & Noble

(BKS) - Get Report

and German media firm

Bertelsmann

today registered with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

for an IPO of between 15% and 20% of

barnesandnoble.com

, the two companies' joint venture.

FedEx

parent

FDX

(FDX) - Get Report

today set a 2-for-1 stock split after posting third-quarter earnings of 87 cents a share, blowing the roof off the First Call consensus of 41 cents.

Retailer

Montgomery Ward

is ending its pension plan as it reorganizes under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company said that the 52,000 affected retirees and employees will be compensated -- retirees through an offer of either an equivalent annuity or a lump-sum payment, and current employees through a new plan to be created from a portion of the old plan's excess funding.

For more news on companies and stocks, click

here.

Tech

As the roadshow for its $5 billion to $6 billion bond offering winds up,

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

announced yesterday in a conference call that it wants to raise as much as $10 billion in debt this year. This morning, the company said that it will try out new

Lucent

(LU)

switching enhancement designed to help voice networks deal better with high data traffic.

CMGI

(CMGI)

set a 2-for-1 stock split for shareholders of record May 13.

For more tech news and commentary, click

here.

General News

Kosovo peace talks are on the verge of collapsing, as Serbian leaders continue to stonewall even as ethnic Albanians signed a U.S.-sponsored accord.

News that

Nation of Islam

leader

Louis Farrakhan

is seriously ill from an undiagnosed condition is making its way through the major newswires.

The Final Call

, the Nation's newspaper, reported Tuesday that Farrakhan has been "struggling to overcome the forces of death" since early January.

The

Commerce Department

today released figures showing the U.S. trade deficit reached an all-time high of $17 billion in January, up 21% from the previous month.

The

Labor Department

today said the

consumer price index

edged up a scant 0.1% for the month of February. The department also said that initial unemployment claims rose to 298,000 last week, a slight but unexpected jump of 6,000 from the previous week's number.

International

Deutsche Bank

will increase its April secondary offering by 50% to help it finance its $10.1 billion acquisition of

Bankers Trust

(BT)

. The company is now trying to raise about $3.4 billion in the offering.

TSC

staff reporter

Gregg Wirth

yesterday took a look at the Deutsche-BT deal from

another perspective.

Nokia

(NOK.A)

yesterday named Jorma Ollila chairman of the Finnish telecom company. Ollila is already the company's CEO.

For more international news and commentary, click

here.

Elsewhere

Never underestimate the rehabilitative effects of shaming.

The New York Times

today details the city of San Francisco's First Offender Prostitution Program, otherwise known as "John School." For $500, the program allows first-time johns to have solicitation arrests removed from their records after they've sat through a series of lectures, educational slide shows and, best of all, epithets hurled by angry former prostitutes.

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