Fears of renewed Latin American instability kept stocks in solid negative territory all day long, with all the benchmarks finishing lower despite a final-hour rally.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
lost 25.96 to 11,175.02, the
Nasdaq Composite Index
shed 12.24 to 2778.20 and the
fell 5.54 to 1393.56. The small-cap
backpedaled 1.19 to 458.11, and
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index stepped off 5.75 to 653.04. Banks got hammered on international exposure worries, sending the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index
After shedding 8.7% yesterday on speculation that Argentina may default or restructure its foreign debt, Argentina's
rebounded 4.6%. Seeking to calm the markets, the
International Monetary Fund
said today that it was ready to talk about extending additional credit to Argentina if necessary.
The big European indices closed deep in the tank, with London's
and the Paris
each off roughly 1.5%.
Asian markets moved lower overnight, as Hong Kong's
slipped 80.91 to 13,980.93, while Tokyo's
dropped 93.09 to 18,181.09.
More markets news and commentary is available in
Office supply firm
is being bought by Dutch paper giant
for about $1 billion in cash, or $9.70 a share.
Securities and Exchange Commission
has begun an informal inquiry into the accounting practices of carpet retailer
, according to the company, which said it was cooperating with the inquiry.
abruptly resigned yesterday as president and COO of
. This morning Merrill released second-quarter earnings of $1.57 a share, surpassing the 12-analyst
consensus of $1.46 a share, and up from last year's $1.31.
and U.K. fire-protection and security equipment firm
called off their exploratory merger discussions this morning.
More news on companies and stocks is available in
Stock News section.
launched two new stores today:
Amazon.com Toys & Games
is merging with
, the music and video direct marketer jointly owned by
. Sony and Time Warner will each own 37% of the resulting entity, while CDnow's present shareholders will hold the remaining 26%.
Pan-Asian Web portal
was rocketing in its trading debut, lately up 47 1/16, or 235.3%, to 66 5/8. Lead underwriter
priced China.com yesterday at $20 a share, above its $17 to $19 pricing range.
in a stock swap valued at $530 million.
Internet access provider
set plans to buy e-commerce firm
for about $427 million in stock.
reported second-quarter earnings of 51 cents a share, two cents below the 31-analyst forecast of 51 cents a share and up from the previous year's 33 cents.
More tech news and commentary is available in
Tech Stocks section.
Federal Bureau of Investigation
said it has
, the man suspected of killing eight people living along railway lines, in custody.
Retaliatory tariffs on $116.8 million of
goods should be in place by late July, according Ambassador for Agricultural Trade Peter Scher. The tariffs, endorsed by the
World Trade Organization
, penalize the EU for its refusal to lift its ban on hormone-treated beef.
U.S. warplanes bombed an Iraqi communications center in the northern no-fly zone today after being attacked by antiaircraft artillery, according a statement released by the
U.S. European Command
China is not pleased with Taiwanese President
, who yesterday told German radio station
that Taiwan considers its dealings with China to be "state-to-state relations." China's
spokeswoman, Zhang Qiyue, described Lee's comments as "extremely dangerous," and reiterated Beijing's willingness to use force to prevent the formal independence of Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province.
In an international industrial gas love triangle, France's
Air Products & Chemicals
are jointly buying Britain's
for about $11.2 billion in cash.
Financial Supervisory Agency
indicated that it may revoke the banking license of
Credit Suisse Group
Credit Suisse Financial Products
after looking into charges that the company helped Japanese securities firms cook their books and then obstructed a government probe. The agency is expected to ban
Credit Suisse Investment Trust Management
and the Tokyo branch of
Credit Suisse First Boston Securities Japan
from seeking new contracts in derivatives and other product fields, according to
The Nihon Keizai Shimbun
More international news and commentary is available in
will detail his role in the
World Wrestling Federation's
Aug. 22 "SummerSlam" event at a news conference tomorrow that promises to replenish political comedians' depleted stock of Ventura-related material. It's unclear at this point whether Ventura will wrestle or referee, and which would be more hilarious.
Have a dumb question relating to finance? Great. Have a
dumb question? Even better. Send it to
MonEmailbag@thestreet.com, and I'll do my best to answer every Saturday. Include your full name, and please, no questions seeking personal financial advice or regarding personal brokerage disputes. And this reminder: Because of the volume of mail, personal replies can't be guaranteed.