Skip to main content


At the end of a choppy day, stocks finished near their starting point. After news the


hiked rates 25 basis points and kept its bias neutral, the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

recouped some of its losses, ending the day down a modest 16.5 points at 11,283, while the

S&P 500

ended slightly higher and the


closed up 32.7 to 2752.

The big European indices closed mixed, with France's


up 1.2% while Germany's

Xetra Dax

was up 0.4% and London's


was down 0.1%.

Asian markets also finished mixed as Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

was up 60.21 to 13,633, and Tokyo's


was down 138.14, or 0.8%, to 18,095.

More markets news and commentary are available in


Markets section.


Citadel Communications'


principal operating unit,

Citadel Broadcasting

, inked a deal to buy all partnership interests of

Caribou Communications

for $60 million in cash. Caribou owns five radio stations in Oklahoma City, which Citadel will add to its spectrum of 124 midmarket stations.

Gartner Group

(IT) - Get Free Report

said it will cut 5% of its workforce. The technology research company said it expects to take a $19 million to $22 million charge in the fourth quarter for the cuts.



secured a five-year, $300 million revolving credit agreement for


, its polymer product business, which it has proposed spinning off.

Medical Manager


, formerly known as


, said it would restate results for its

Medical Manager Health Systems

unit for the six months ended June 30.

Planet Hollywood


said a subcommittee representing noteholders had accepted the company's reorganization plan. The company filed for bankruptcy protection last week.

Pratt & Whitney Canada

, a unit of

United Technologies

(UTX) - Get Free Report

said it was cutting its hourly workforce by 300 by the end of next month and reducing its salaried workforce by 400 next year. The company said the cuts were the result of delayed customer orders.

Priority Healthcare


said it will buy back up to 2 million of its shares.

Sterling Financial


set a 5-for-4 stock split in the form of a 25% dividend, payable to shareholders of record Nov. 1.

More news on companies and stocks is available in


Stock News section.



(T) - Get Free Report

said it would buy Brazil's Internet provider


for $300 million.

Media giant


said it sold off 7.2 million shares of

America Online


as it focuses on financing its own Internet expansion. The move does not directly affect Bertelsmann's joint venture with AOL in Europe, a subscription-free Internet service intended to take on market leader


(FREE) - Get Free Report



(EBAY) - Get Free Report

suspended plans to change bidding policies for some items following user protests,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. The online auction house cut a fee for sellers setting a minimum price on their goods to 50 cents, from $1 the



Electric Lightwave


said it was disbanding its

Voice Solutions

division, which includes prepaid calling cards and videoconferencing services. The company said the move will eliminate 30 jobs and should increase earnings.

Gentner Communications


formed a strategic partnership with

Nextlink Communications


to distribute Gentner's conference-call services to Nextlink long-distance customers in Western states.


(IBM) - Get Free Report

received a $235 million order from Japan's

Mitsui Marine and Fire Insurance

to operate and manage the insurer's host computer system.


(LU) - Get Free Report


Pequot Capital Management

would invest in its digital radio unit. The amount of the investment was not disclosed. Lucent also announced a three-year, $50 million contract to provide its

PathStar Access Server


One Point Communications




struck a deal with



to offer Web telephone services to new


customers in Canada, Latin America, Japan and Asia-Pacific.



will acquire


(PERI) - Get Free Report

for $436 million.

Siebel Systems


set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Telecom Italia



Telekom Austria

are planning to make a joint bid for

Albanian Mobile Communications

, Albania's only cellular-phone network, which is state-owned.

More tech news and commentary are available in


Tech Stocks section.

General News

A new report says what's cool for cats can kill cockroaches. A study from

Iowa State University

found that a form of the chemical nepetalactone, which is used in catnip, repels cockroaches 100 times better than DEET, the basis for commercial bug repellants. The study could lead to new non-toxic methods for getting rid of the pests.

China vowed to punish leading members of the outlawed meditation group

Falun Gong

, indicating the group's organizers will be prosecuted. An order issued by executive officers outlined ways government work teams, in the midst of a crackdown, are to treat practitioners.

James Hall, chairman of the

National Transportation Safety Board

, criticized the news media's coverage of major air disasters, saying that a "barrage of bad information," can distract from investigations and make things even more difficult for victims' families. Hall said reporters displayed bad manners in the wake of

John F. Kennedy Jr.'s

plane crash off Martha's Vineyard.

Amid the current focus on politicians and their past use of drugs, White House officials said

President Clinton

never used cocaine. The statement followed a

Fox News Channel

interview with

Gennifer Flowers

, who claims Clinton told her he used the drug.

Unions in South Africa decided to strike after failing to reach a deal with President

Thabo Mbeki's

new government on wage increases for public employees. An estimated 800,000 teachers, nurses, prosecutors and other state employees did not show up for work, forcing thousands of schoolchildren to remain home and prompting offices to operate on skeleton staffs.

A cargo ship was adrift off southeast England after colliding with a

Norwegian Cruise

line returning from a 13-day Scandinavian tour. Approximately 20 Norwegian passengers suffered minor injuries in the crash, which smashed the ship's bow. The boat was able to make the 40-mile trip to Dover, where it docked on time.

A domestic passenger jet caught fire as it landed in east-central Taiwan, injuring 28 of the 96 people on board. Passengers on the

UNI Airlines

MD-90 heard a loud noise, followed by smoke pouring into the cabin from one of the overhead luggage compartments. It was the second accident in three days involving a Taiwanese airline.


Canadian-based conglomerate


plans to acquire

Air Canada


Canadian Air

and merge the two in a multibillion-dollar deal. Canadian Industry Minister John Manley said he would welcome the investment in the Canadian airline industry.

Lan Chile


agreed to buy seven

Airbus Industries

A340-300 planes worth around $910 million as part of a plan to replace its aging fleet. Lan Chile also took options on another seven aircraft, which brings the total potential of the deal to $1.8 billion.

Matsushita Electric Industrial

(MC) - Get Free Report

said a strong yen was to blame for its seventh straight quarter of shrinking profits. The maker of




said a strong yen aggravated already weak domestic sales by reducing export earnings.

More international news and commentary are available in


International section.


A Massachusetts man who wanted to see what it felt like to wear handcuffs and leg shackles got a little too close to the real thing. After carefully outfitting himself in two pairs of handcuffs, wrist, ankle and stomach chains, the 56-year old Wellesley, Mass., resident was startled to find he could not free himself. So he jumped -- actually hobbled -- into his car and attempted to drive 45 minutes to a friend's house for help. After a call from an alarmed motorist, the man was stopped at a toll bridge by Massachusetts State Police, who assumed he was an escapee from somewhere. After explaining the situation, he was freed -- twice -- but cited for impeded operation and driving to endanger.