Tuesday, April 27, 1999

The Dow closes up, kindled by rotation into cyclicals; tech-girded Nasdaq fizzles.
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Markets

Rotation, rotation, rotation. A cyclical rally led by

United Technologies

and

American Express

(AXP) - Get Report

powered the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

to yet another record high, up 113.12 to 10,831.71. The

S&P 500

rallied late to squeak out another record, closing up 2.91 to 1362.89.

Technology generally went the other way.

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

(see below) led Internet and other tech shares higher out of the gates, but the charge wouldn't stick. After five consecutive monster sessions, the tech-centric

Nasdaq Composite Index

exhaled 49.70 to 2602.35;

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index dropped 17.30 to 696.97; but the

Russell 2000

eked out 0.21 to close at 435.18.

Major European indices finished sharply higher. Asian markets also rose overnight, with Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

soaring another 237.77 to 13,364.79 and Japan's

Nikkei

gaining 38.76 to 16,957.27.

For more markets action and news, click

here.

Companies

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

reported first-quarter earnings of 61 cents a share, 4 cents above the 18-analyst

First Call

estimate and up from the year-ago 46 cents. Separately, the company announced a joint venture with

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone

(NTT)

to manage data networks for multinational corporations, continuing its incursion into the deregulating Japanese telecom industry. On Sunday AT&T announced plans to buy a combined 30% stake in

Japan Telecom

with

British Telecom

(BTY)

.

BFGoodrich

(GR)

said that the

Federal Trade Commission

has given it the go-ahead for its $2 billion purchase of aircraft and industrial part maker

Coltec Industries

(COT) - Get Report

.

Comcast

(CMCSK)

is in preliminary talks to team with either

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

or

America Online

(AOL)

to counter AT&T's $54 billion cash-and-stock bid for

MediaOne

(UMG)

, according to

The Wall Street Journal

.

MCI WorldCom

(WCOM)

agreed to buy wireless-cable company

CAI Wireless Systems

(CWSS)

in a sweetened $476 million cash deal. MCI WorldCom had signed a letter of intent on April 19 to acquire CAI Wireless for about $408 million, but had to renegotiate the deal after CAI received a better offer.

Park Place Entertainment

(PPE)

agreed to buy casino chain

Caesars World

and other gaming assets from

Starwood

(HOT)

in a $3 billion cash transaction. The deal does not include the

Desert Inn

in Las Vegas.

For more news on companies and stocks, click

here.

Tech

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

last night set plans to buy three Internet companies for about $645 million in stock. The three are

Exchange.com

, which operates a "marketplace" matching buyers and sellers of hard-to-find books and music;

Accept.com

, which is developing products to simplify online transactions; and Web navigation service

Alexa Internet

.

America Online

(AOL)

reported third-quarter earnings of 11 cents a share, 2 cents above the 9-analyst estimate.

Shares of

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

soared overnight after the company reported first-quarter earnings of 5 cents a share, 3 cents ahead of the 10-analyst forecast and up from the year-ago penny. eBay reached as high as 234, but finished up only 1/4 to 209 1/4.

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

authorized an extra $3.5 billion for stock buybacks, matching a $3.5 billion buyback plan from last October. IBM also set plans to raise its quarterly dividend to 24 cents from 22 cents. The company's shareholders also overwhelmingly approved a 2-for-1 stock split.

Toys R Us

(TOY)

set plans to bolster its e-commerce presence by establishing an Internet sales unit in a partnership with venture capital firm

Benchmark Capital

.

For more tech news and commentary, click

here.

General News

The

Conference Board

this morning released its

consumer confidence index

, which rose to 134.9 from a revised 134 in March.

For the second time in a week,

NATO

war planes struck Belgrade's 23-story Usce Center building, home to Yugoslav President

Slobodan Milosevic's

Socialist Party headquarters and transmitters for some of Belgrade's TV and radio stations. Nothing has come thus far of Yugoslav Deputy Premier

Vuk Draskovic's

remark yesterday that he believes Milosevic is ready to accept a peace deal including an occupation of Kosovo by NATO troops. Meanwhile, the Pentagon said that, as expected,

President Clinton

has authorized it to call up as many as 33,000 reservists to active duty.

International

Italy's central bank has blocked

San Paolo-IMI's

$8.8 billion bid for

Banca di Roma

, saying that the deal changed from friendly to hostile after Banca di Roma's board rejected it last week. The central bank's action puts

UniCredito Italiano's

$16 billion hostile takeover offer for

Banca Commerciale Italiana

on thin ice.

Vivendi

media unit

Havas

is selling its billboard advertising business for about $928.6 million to France's

JC Decaux

, a maker of "street furniture," such as bus shelters and traffic lights.

For more international news and commentary, click

here.

Elsewhere

Baltimore Orioles slugger

Albert Belle's

Slugger Cereal is set to debut in the first week of May, less than a month after

Cal Ripken Jr.'s

Classic O's hit supermarket stands. Belle's promoter, Grant Dinner, denied any competition between the two stars, adding that when Ripken's brand was released, Belle's was already in taste-testing -- a process that left several participants with mysterious black eyes that they attribute to the cereal's "complicated" taste.