Tuesday, March 2, 1999

The S&P and the Nasdaq fall into the red; Cisco looks to expand; the Air France hijacking ends calmly.
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Markets

Stocks were dealing with a heavy draft of selling pressure, with the

S&P 500

and the

Nasdaq Composite Index

dipping into negative territory and the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

off its highs.

The major European bourses finished with modest gains, while Asian markets closed sharply lower. Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

slid back below 10,000, losing 106.88 to 9913.58. Japan's

Nikkei

lost 300.69 to 13,921.06.

For more markets action and news, click

here.

Companies

Alcatel

(ALA)

of France agreed to acquire U.S. network switch outfit

Xylan

(XYLN)

for $37 a share, or about $2 billion. Alcatel expects the deal to be accretive to 2001 earnings after goodwill charges.

Dayton Hudson

(DH)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of 97 cents a share, above both the 15-analyst view of 90 cents and the year-ago 76 cents.

Federated Department Stores

(FD)

reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.88 a share, 6 cents ahead of the 17-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago $1.66. The company said same-store sales during the quarter rose 4.1%.

Struggling retailer

Venator

(Z) - Get Report

announced plans for an e-commerce and direct marketing subsidiary called

eVenator

.

TheStreet.com

took a look at some of Venator's other efforts and challenges in a

story today.

Warnaco

(WAC)

bought the distribution rights for

Calvin Klein Jeanswear

in Canada.

For more news on companies and stocks, click

here.

Tech

@Home

(ATHM) - Get Report

, which is in the process of acquiring

Excite

(XCIT)

, set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

is seeking breathing space, planning to buy more than 400 acres in San Jose, Calif., to house up to 20,000 employees in an expansion. The company now employs about 10,000 people in Silicon Valley and about 17,000 worldwide.

Hey, it worked for

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

:

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

announced a restructuring that will split it into two separate publicly traded companies, a measurement company and a computing and imaging company. The latter will retain the H-P name. An IPO of 15% of the measurement company, seen by the end of the year, will be the largest tech IPO in Silicon Valley history, according to

For more tech news and commentary, click

here.

General News

An

Air France

plane carrying 76 passengers was forced to detour over Paris today by a man on board who threatened to blow it up. The plane was bound from Marseilles to Paris'

Orly

airport, but the man forced it to fly to

Roissy-Charles de Gaulle

airport instead. It landed, and the hijacker has since freed all of the passengers unharmed and has been taken into custody.

January

new home sales

hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 918,000, down 5% from December's 966,000 but up 8% from the year-ago 848,000.

Fresh from his 63% victory in Nigeria's presidential election, former Gen.

Olusegun Obasanjo

repeated his promises to foster democracy in the country. But youths said to be opposed to Obasanjo attacked two police stations with gasoline bombs, killing at least one person and wounding four.

A

United Nations

panel has recommended that about a dozen senior officials of Cambodia's vicious Khmer Rouge be tried by a new international tribunal for crimes against humanity.

Television commentator

Patrick Buchanan

is once again trading "television commentator" for "GOP presidential candidate," making his third run for the

White House

. Buchanan said he plans to "clean up all that pollutes" the U.S.

International

The

Bank of Scotland

and U.S. televangelist

Pat Robertson

plan to join forces to launch a direct banking operation in the U.S. "It is a very nice coincidence that my forebears left Scotland in 1695, the year in which Bank of Scotland was founded," Robertson said in a statement.

For more international news and commentary, click

here.

Elsewhere

It's Y2K Day, a consciousness-raising effort in the U.S. (

TheStreet.com

continues its Y2K coverage with a

story this morning.) And here's the latest Y2K date to focus on: April 9, 1999. That's the unofficial conception date if you're shooting for having the first baby of 2000. A Chicago doctor says at least 10 people in the last two weeks have asked for his help in that effort, according to the

Chicago Tribune

.

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Thomas Lepri

will do his best to answer. 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.

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