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Tuesday, May 4, 1999

Markets cursed at the close; Coke set to quaff Orangina; Eastman Kodak CFO dies suddenly at home.


It's hard to get excited about a day like this, even with the celebrated and successful trading debut of

Goldman Sachs

(GS:NYSE) (see below). What was already a generally spotty market at midday turned decidedly negative as the afternoon wore on. The broad selloff accelerated in the final hour of trading, and, finally, all the major proxies closed firmly negative.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

fell 128.58 to 10,886.11; the

Nasdaq Composite Index

sank 50.45 to 2485.13; the

S&P 500

shed 22.63 to 1332.00; the small-cap

Russell 2000

dropped 0.69 to 432.59; and Internet Sector

lost 17.84 to 615.13.

On the plus side, the

Dow Jones Transportation Average

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gained 35.29 to a record 3731.88, though it lost much of its strength late in the afternoon.

Those looking for solace in the bond market were sorely disappointed. The long bond got hammered, losing 24/32 to 93 13/32, its yield closing above 5.7% for the first time since July 13 of last year.

Major European indices finished mixed, while Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

jumped 222.62 to 13,559.69 overnight. Tokyo markets were closed for a holiday.

For more markets action and news, click




(KO) - Get Coca-Cola Company (The) Report

finally has its


. The beverage giant signed a $758 million deal to acquire the soft drink brand from France's

Pernod Ricard

, satisfying the French government's 18-month opposition by agreeing not to distribute Orangina in French restaurants, bars and hotels for 10 years.

Goldman Sachs soared in its first day of trading on the

New York Stock Exchange

. The stock gained 17 3/8 to 70 3/8, off its early high of 77 1/4 and 5 5/8 points lower than its first trade.


covered Goldman's IPO in a

story last night.

Eastman Kodak


CFO Harry L. Kavetas died today at home of an apparent heart attack. He was 61.

Emerson Electric

(EMR) - Get Emerson Electric Company Report

promoted George Tamke from president and COO to vice chairman and co-CEO. Charles Knight will remain chairman and CEO.

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report

is in talks to buy biotechnology firm



in a stock transaction that could be worth more than $3 billion, according to

The Wall Street Journal

, which cited sources familiar with the deal.

MCI WorldCom


is the latest company reportedly ready to join



in its bidding war with


(T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report




. MCI WorldCom is mulling that possibility, according to

The New York Times

, which cited executives familiar with the negotiations. Meanwhile,


(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report

is considering creating a tracking stock for its Internet businesses and any new cable operations, according to the


. Mister Softee is reviewing Comcast's original merger agreement with MediaOne with the idea of possibly helping Comcast sweeten the deal.

Sara Lee


said it will start a cash tender of $10.50 a share for

Chock Full O'Nuts


, going directly to shareholders less than two weeks after Chock's board rejected a $223 million cash takeover offer from Sara Lee.



Jeffrey Bronchick

last week wrote about the recent insider zaniness at Chock.

For more news on companies and stocks, click



Two Internet IPOs fared well on their first day of trading. Online cartographics firm

(MQST:Nasdaq) surged 7 5/16 to 22 3/8, off an intraday high of 28. And shares of

Flycast Communications

(FCST:Nasdaq), which runs a Web advertising placement network, gained 4 3/4 to 29 3/4, having traded as high as 35 earlier in the session.

Seagate Technology's


board authorized an increase of up to 25 million shares in the company's stock buyback plan.


(VO) - Get Vanguard Mid-Cap ETF Report


Universal Music

set plans to start selling digital music over the Web later this year.

Wang Global


is being acquired by significantly smaller Dutch computer-services firm


for about $1.8 billion in cash. Getronics is issuing new shares and debt to finance the deal.

For more tech news and commentary, click


General News

The U.S. reiterated plans to impose hundreds of millions of dollars worth of tariffs on

European Union

goods if the EU doesn't lift its ban on hormone-treated beef, a product a new EU report claims can cause cancer. The tariffs would be levied this summer, said Peter Scher, spokesman for the

U.S. Trade Representative's




voted 78-22 to set aside a measure brought by Sen.

John McCain

(R, Ariz.) to give

President Clinton

the authority to use "all necessary force" in Yugoslavia. Clinton had not asked for such authority.


war planes continue to pound Serbian targets. Meanwhile, alliance officials can find no evidence of a NATO attack on a busload of civilians, spokesman Jamie Shea said today; Yugoslav media claim 20 people died and 43 were injured in such an attack yesterday.

A swarm of tornadoes killed at least 45 people across Oklahoma and Kansas.


British oil production firm



is buying

Monument Oil & Gas

, also of the U.K., in a stock deal worth about $965.6 million. Lasmo will swap three of its shares for every seven Monument shares.

Canada's central bank lowered its overnight lending rate by 25 basis points to 4.75%.


contributor Marc Chandler this morning

contextualized the cut, which is Canada's fifth in eight months.

For more international news and commentary, click





season is finally ready to begin: The

New York Knicks

and the

Sacramento Kings

clinched the final playoff berths last night.

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