Markets

Big news of a new deal between

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

and

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

(see below) sent blue-chips and tech stocks on a bachelor party rally ahead of the

Labor Department's

employment report tomorrow (which

TheStreet.com

previewed today). The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

skyrocketed 191.52 to 9467.40; the

S&P 500

rose 18.96 to 1246.66; the

Nasdaq Composite Index

jumped 27.84 to 2293.04; the small-cap

Russell 2000

gained 2.07 to 394.02;

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index picked up 2.26 to close at 523.39.

Major European bourses closed mixed, 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

Ouch. The same day that

Adams, Harkness & Hill

downgraded

Level One Communications

(LEVL) - Get Report

to "accumulate" from "strong buy,"

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

announced its acquisition of the telecom equipment company for $2.2 billion.

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 and Dell announced a broad, $16 billion technology

pact over seven years.

German software firm

SAP

(SAP) - Get Report

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

Siebel Systems

(SEBL)

.

TSC

reporter

Medora Lee

broke the story on

Tuesday .

For more tech news and commentary, click

here.

General News

Retired

Supreme Court

Justice

Harry A. Blackmun

, author of the 1973

Roe vs. Wade

decision, died today from complications following hip-replacement surgery. He was 90 years old.

Jordan's

King Abdullah

swore in a 23-member cabinet today, including new prime minister

Abdul-Raouf Rawabdeh

, a longstanding supporter of the late

King Hussein

and Jordan's 1994 peace accord with Israel.

International

"Don't make me come over there!" Presidential chief of staff Nikolai Bordyuzha told members of the Russian media that if Russia fails to secure new loans from the

International Monetary Fund

, President

Boris Yelstin

"will simply have to intervene."

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.

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

is merging its Canadian operations into, and eventually will buy, local Canadian phone provider

MetroNet Communications

in a $2.3 billion deal. The resulting entity will be called

AT&T Canada

.

British Sky Broadcasting's

(BSY)

merger talks with French television company

Canal Plus

have been suspended over the fundamental issue of which company will control the resulting entity.

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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