Tuesday, April 20, 1999

Tech revives; Microsoft's earnings thwart estimates; goodbye to Senor Wences and Pedro.
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Markets

It's just like in those

Friday the Thirteenth

movies: Don't turn your back on tech until you're sure it's dead.

Big tech and Internet stocks snapped back nicely today from the previous session's horror show. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

jumped 64.16 to 2409.77, and

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

added 35.14 to close at 595.95. Cyclical weakness kept the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

on shallow positive ground. The Dow gained 8.02 to 10,448.55. The

S&P 500

garnered 16.69 to 1306.17, while the small-cap

Russell 2000

rose 2.93 to 415.34.

In other U.S. markets news, the

Chicago Board of Trade's

27-member board of directors yesterday gave CBOT President Thomas R. Donovan a vote of confidence, one week after Chairman David P. Brennan began a campaign to oust him.

Major European indices finished sharply lower, while Asian markets were mixed overnight. Japan's

Nikkei

gained 22.90 to 16,697.11, but Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

gave back all of yesterday's big gains and more, falling 356.66 to 12,409.78.

For more markets action and news, click

here.

Companies

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

set a 3-for-2 stock split this morning.

First Union

(FTU)

CEO Ed Crutchfield today told shareholders that the company is still considering a West Coast expansion. Crutchfield said that "there are one or two large financial institutions on the West Coast who conceivably we could get together with."

A plan may be afoot to rescue

Long Term Capital Management

from its rescuers. A group including

Goldman Sachs

co-Chairman

Jon Corzine

, Long Term Capital founder John Meriwether and 13 Long Term Capital partners are in the early stages of putting together a bid for the $4.8 billion hedge fund, according to London's

Financial Times

.

Lehman Brothers

(LEH)

unit

Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking Partners

is buying industrial and sporting equipment manufacturer

Blount International

(BLT.A)

for about $1.35 billion. After the deal, Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking and Blount's management will own about 90% of the company, with the remainder to be held by current shareholders.

For more news on companies and stocks, click

here.

Tech

Salon Internet

, operator of the Web magazine

Salon.com

and the discussion forum

Table Talk

, has filed to raise up to $33.8 million in an IPO. The offering will be a Dutch auction, run by lead underwriter

W.R. Hambrecht

.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

reported first-quarter earnings of 35 cents a share, beating the 21-analyst

First Call

consensus by 3 cents a share.

For more tech news and commentary, click

here.

General News

The specter of a widening Balkan conflict was raised again today when, according to Croatia's

United Nations

representative, hundreds of Yugoslav soldiers entered the demilitarized zone around the Croatian peninsula of Prevlaka, an area hotly disputed by Croatia and Yuguslavia.

The

Commerce Department

released figures showing that the U.S. trade deficit increased to a record $19.44 billion in February, more than 15% higher than last month's record figure and more than $2.5 billion above economists' forecasts.

Russia has defaulted again: First Deputy Finance Minister

Mikhail Kasyanov

today said that Russia will not be able to pay $1.3 billion due holders of

Ministry of Finance

bonds, known as MinFins.

International

Merger talks continue today between the boards of

Telecom Italia

(TI)

and

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

.

TSC

German Correspondent

Marc Young

looked at the deal's pitfalls this morning.

More fat-trimming under the rising sun: Japanese long-distance telecom

KDD

set plans to cut 2,000 jobs and reduce its board to 10 from 32 members.

For more international news and commentary, click

here.

In the Papers

The

Chicago Tribune

today continues its coverage of the

Comdex Trade Show

, where

Linux

creator

Linus Torvalds

went on the offensive against Microsoft chief

Bill Gates

.

The Dallas Morning News

reports on the recent fortune of Dallas exploration and production company

Triton Energy

(OIL) - Get Report

, whose stock skyrocketed yesterday on rumors of a

BP Amoco

(BPA)

takeover. Triton was lately down 1/8 to 11 3/16.

The Globe and Mail

takes a look at the difficulties facing the

Toronto Stock Exchange

after its president, Rowland Fleming, abruptly announced his retirement yesterday.

Elsewhere

Ventriloquist

Wenceslao Moreno

-- known to millions of

Ed Sullivan Show

viewers as both

Senor Wences

and

Pedro

, the least adorned hand-puppet in the history of puppeteering -- died today at his home in New York City at the age of 103.

Ah, kids will do the darnedest things. Unfortunately, they'll keep doing them if you don't put your foot down early on. The

Associated Press

reports that 9-year-old Kevin Inciyaki's lifelong obsession with trash -- evident from his photo album of "garbage trucks of the world" -- now has him running a worm farm for a

University of California at Los Angeles

waste management survey. Kevin's mother explained, "It's been garbage since he was 2 years old."

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