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Wednesday, Feb. 17, 1999

The Nasdaq leads a negative open; United Technologies talks about selling a unit; AOL talks with eBay.


Just as the

Nasdaq Composite Index

led yesterday's strong open, it's leading today's sharply negative start. All of the other major indices are down as well.

European bourses were trading lower at midday, while Japan's

Nikkei 225

lost 73.97 to 14,158.67. Most other Asian markets were closed for the New Year holidays.

For more markets action and news, click



Investment boutique

Evercore Partners

will buy

American Media


, publisher of the

National Enquirer



tabloids, for $300 million, and will hire veteran magazine publisher

David Pecker

to run the company.

Diversified manufacturer

United Technologies

(UTX) - Get Free Report

said it is in talks with potential buyers to unload its auto parts business for about $2 billion.

For more news on companies and stocks, click




(DELL) - Get Free Report

matched Wall Street estimates with fourth-quarter earnings of 31 cents a share and announced a 2-for-1 stock split. But slowing earnings growth sent the stock plummeting in after hours trading. Dell was down 10 5/8 to 78 1/8 in early trading.

America Online


is in talks with


(EBAY) - Get Free Report

to develop a closer business relationship, and may purchase a minority stake in the company, according to

The Wall Street Journal


For more tech news and commentary, click


General News

A South African prosecutor is considering bringing murder charges against the officers accused of the 1977 beating death of anti-apartheid leader

Steve Biko

. Yesterday South Africa's

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

denied amnesty to three of the five officers. A fourth was denied amnesty in December, and the fifth has died since the killing, for which the officers have never admitted their culpability.

Indonesian police fired tear gas into a rioting crowd of 25,000 workers and protesters in Jakarta.


Nippon Steel, Japan's #1 steel producer, called allegations that it and other Japanese steel companies are dumping exports "hard to understand."

For more international news and commentary, click



O.J. Simpson's

Heisman Trophy was auctioned off along with other memorabilia for $430,000 last night. The proceeds will go toward the $33.5 million Simpson owes the families of

Nicole Brown Simpson


Ronald Goldman

. The Heisman itself brought $255,500.

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Herb Greenberg


Andy Kessler


Velocity Capital


Nicholas Moore


Jurika & Voyles


CIBC Oppenheimer's Henry Blodget


(WWWFX) - Get Free Report

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Ryan Jacob


Brian Salerno


Munder Capital

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