The major proxies were just itching for some action after tiptoeing around break-even all day in narrow trading ranges. So, for lack of reasons to do otherwise -- cheery economic data and earnings reports scarce these days -- they plummeted in the session's final hour.
Tech and Internet stocks sold off hard, sending the
Nasdaq Composite Index
down 34.98 to 2542.42 and
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index off 22.71 to 624.79; the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
dropped 20.65 to 10,866.74; the
fell 5.40 to 1338.83.
But positive breadth on both major exchanges helped the
up 1.89 to 448.03.
The big European indices finished higher, with the Paris
all closing up more than 1%.
rallied to close fractionally higher; last night the country's monetary policy committee,
, cut the benchmark interest rate to 23.5% from 27%. Asian markets were mixed overnight, as Hong Kong's
slipped 27.72 to 12,375.42, while Tokyo's
added 71.81 to 16,199.99.
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set plans for a secondary offering of 4 million shares. The firm seeks to raise $141 million to reduce its debt.
warned that its second-quarter earnings won't make analysts' expectations, due to competition in the
and weak demand in Eastern Europe and Russia. Dole said it expects to earn between 55 cents and 75 cents a share, in addition to insurance recovery proceeds of 10 cents to 15 cents a share for damage by Hurricane Mitch.
John M. Devine is stepping down as
CFO, with Vice Chairman W. Wayne Booker taking over on July 1.
set plans for a 3-for-2 stock split for shareholders of record as of June 4, to be distributed June 21.
Jack M. Greenberg
chairman and CEO, effective immediately. Greenberg previously was president and CEO.
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filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission
for an initial public offering, to be managed by
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette
Thomas Weisel Partners
. The company, of which
owns 40%, did not disclose the size of the offering.
Online toy seller
(ETYS:Nasdaq) exploded in its first day of trading. The company gained 57, or 285%, to 76 9/16 after being priced last night at $20 a share by lead underwriter
Privately held publishing company
is talking with investment bankers to explore the possibility of taking its online assets public.
the story last night.
said that it has signed a definitive merger pact with privately held
. The stock transaction is valued at about $5.5 billion, and each company will owning half of the resulting entity. After soaring 43.4% yesterday, Healtheon shot up a further 21 3/16, or 26.63%, to 100 5/8.
Computer product distributor
won a contract making it the information technology supplier for
GE Capital IT Solutions
. Tech Data said it expects the three-year deal to general about $2 billion in annual sales.
set plans to buy a 10% stake in the online music operations of
. Under the deal, MTV Networks' online music ventures will buy music Web site
, which owns 86% of TCI Music.
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said that Switzerland's
will pay $500 million and $225 million, respectively, to settle
charges of price-fixing in the worldwide vitamin market. Kuno Summer, former director of worldwide marketing for Hoffman-LaRoche vitamans and fine chemicals, will serve a four-month prison sentence and pay a $100,000 fine. Reno added that there are "up to a dozen other companies involved in this."
released figures showing the U.S. trade deficit unexpectedly widening to a record $19.7 billion for the month of March, $1.2 billion more than economists forecast and up from the $19.4 billion deficit for February. Meanwhile the
reported that initial jobless claims stood at 299,000 for the week ended May 15, a tad under expectations and last month's 303,000.
Exactly a month after the April 20 shootings at
Columbine High School
in Littleton, Colo., a student opened fire at
Heritage High School
, near Conyers, Ga., injuring six of his classmates.
U.K. banking giant
set plans to eliminate 6,000 jobs, or 10% of its retail and corporate banking staff. The company will take a $646 million charge for the cost-cutting measure.
The latest in the battle between
: Olivetti is positioned to win between 42% and 47% of shareholder acceptances for its $65 billion unsolicited tender offer for Telecom Italia, according to a wide array of reports citing a senior financial source familiar with the matter. Telecom Italia said it would seek the suspension of the bid, charging "agitation and market manipulation," though Olivetti denied it was the source of the reports on the increased number of acceptances.
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guitarist Jeff "Skunk" Baxter is mulling a run for a seat in the California House. Baxter, a college dropout who, according to the defunct
magazine, got his nickname from an unlucky person on whom he once accidentally urinated, supports the
National Rifle Association
, the ballistic missile defense system and abortion rights. And doobies.
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