Markets

Stocks opened on the upside on Wall Street, with the

Nasdaq Composite Index

, led by

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

(see below), faring best.

Major European bourses were mixed at midday, while Asian markets were flat. Japan's

Nikkei

gained 13.09 to 14,183.45, and Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

lost 9.64 to 9912.76.

The Brazilian

Senate

yesterday approved the nomination of

Arminio Fraga

as head of that country's central bank.

TheStreet.com's

Peter Eavis

weighed in yesterday on the new chief's prospects.

For more markets action and news, click

here.

Companies

Mattel

(MAT) - Get Report

is shaking up its management team. The company announced the resignations of President and COO Bruce Stein and Gary Baughman, president of the company's

Fisher-Price

unit.

Mobil

(MOB)

and

Atlantic Richfield

(ARC) - Get Report

have told Iran they are interested in developing its oil and gas reserves. The move comes just days after France's

Elf Aquitaine

(ELF) - Get Report

and Italy's

ENI

(E) - Get Report

risked penalties under the U.S. government's Iran-Libya Sanctions Act by inking a $540 million oil development deal with Iran.

For more news on companies and stocks, click

here.

Tech

CMGI

(CMGI)

today is announcing its acquisition of Austin, Texas-based

Activerse

, whose instant-messaging technology will compete with

America Online's

(AOL)

ICQ

system.

TSC's

George Mannes

had

the story early this morning.

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

and Dell announced a broad, $16 billion technology pact.

German software firm

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

said that Jeremy Coote, president of its U.S. operations, has left for rival Siebel Systems.

TSC

reporter

Medora Lee

broke the story on

Tuesday .

For more tech news and commentary, click

here.

General News

Jordan's

King Abdullah

has named his prime minister:

Abdul-Raouf Rawabdeh

, a longstanding supporter of the late

King Hussein

and Jordan's 1994 peace accord with Israel.

International

Alcatel's

(ALA)

U.S. expansion continues. The French telecom equipment firm is acquiring remote-access Internet technology company

Assured Access Technology

in a $350 million deal.

For more international news and commentary, click

here.

Elsewhere

Clearing the way for the expected release of

Scott Mitchell

, the

Detroit Lions

have signed quarterback

Gus Frerotte

a month after he was cut by the

Washington Redskins

. Frerotte follows in the hallowed footsteps of such past Lions QBs as

Rodney Peete

,

Erik Kramer

,

Eric Hipple

,

Chuck Long

,

Andre Ware

and

Gary Danielson

.

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really

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MonEmailbag@thestreet.com, and I'll do my best to answer. Include your full name, and please, no questions seeking personal financial advice or regarding personal brokerage disputes. And this reminder: Because of the volume of mail, personal replies can't be guaranteed.

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