Investors didn't do much in cautious trading while the
Federal Open Market Committee
was meeting in Washington today. And they didn't do much after the committee
announced that the
was adopting a tightening bias (see below). After going into a moderate selloff on the largely-expected news, major proxies spent the remainder of the afternoon heading back toward break-even like
monkeys to a monolith.
Dow Jones Industrial Average
lost 16.52 to 10,836.95; the
Nasdaq Composite Index
shed 3.49 to 2558.35; the
fell 6.17 to 1333.32; the smallish-cap
eked out a gain of 1.10 to 442.45; and
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index sank 1.92 to 639.36. Volume was light.
The big European indices finished higher, with the Paris
faring best, up about 1.5%. Asian markets were mixed overnight, as Hong Kong's
added 38.5 to 12,627.1 and Tokyo's
slipped 42.4 to 16,373.62.
For more markets action and news, click
Industrial parts maker
is set to start an unsolicited cash tender offer for rail-industry supplier
. Varlen, which has a poison pill plan in place, urged its shareholders not to act until its board has reviewed the offer. But investors had lately bid the stock up 10 3/16, or 39.5%, to 26 1/16.
Charter One Financial
is buying Chicago-based
St. Paul Bancorp
in a $1.2 billion stock swap.
is auctioning off its defense electronics operations for an expected price of more than $1.3 billion, according to
The Wall Street Journal
, which cited executives familiar with the deal. The paper wrote that leading bidders include
Level 3 Communications
, which yesterday agreed to buy
, plans to spend $3 billion more on acquisitions during the next few years, the
wrote, citing unnamed company officials.
is planning to outsource its credit card business and issue a tracking stock for its
drugstore. J.C. Penney will distribute 80% of the Eckerd tracking stock to shareholders and sell the remaining 20% in an IPO.
raised the department store chain to buy from attractive on the news.
set plans to buy back as much as $1 billion of its common stock. The company also said it expects to grow at a rate of 30 to 50 new stores a year.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts
is finally out of the gambling industry. The lodging giant has agreed to sell its
hotel and casino to
Sun International Hotels
for $275 million in cash. Last month Starwood sold its
Park Place Entertainment
for about $3 billion.
For more news on companies and stocks, click
keeps branching out. The online retailer today bought a 35% stake in closely held
for $42.5 million.
last night reported second-quarter earnings of 88 cents a share, 8 cents higher than the 20-analyst
outlook and above the year-ago 65 cents. The PC maker also said it expects low double-digit sales growth during the second half of the fiscal year.
summarized the report in
a story last night.
Internet banking services firm
Security First Technologies
is buying its two most formidable competitors, Brussels-based banking software company
and customer service software firm
, in two separate transactions valued at about $1.39 billion. The resulting entity will be called
. Separately, personal finance software maker
is paying $50 million for a 2.5% stake in Security First.
For more tech news and commentary, click
The Fed's monetary policy committee met in Washington today. As expected, it made no change to short-term interest rates. But, also as expected, the committee announced that it was adopting a tightening bias.
covered the FOMC announcement in
a story today.
jets continued to pound Yugoslav targets, hitting an industrial area, a major highway and a military airport, according to Serbian media. Meanwhile, U.S. authorities released two Serb soldiers held as prisoners of war to be turned over to Yugoslav officials at the border today.
The speculation over which U.K. company
has bought into is over. A filing at Britain's
headquarters showed Buffett holding 22.8 million shares, or 2.2%, of the U.K. distilling giant as of April 19. The stake is worth about $196.3 million based on yesterday's closing price.
is paying $1.6 billion for 50% of the flat-panel display business of South Korea's
For more international news and commentary, click
If you like
, then you'll love
. Leaving absolutely nothing to chance,
is preparing a sitcom spinoff of its popular one-hour dramedy. Same cast. Same characters. Some of the same footage. Seriously.
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