Wednesday, January 20, 1999

Looks like an opening surge on Wall Street as traders react to Microsoft's earnings -- and wait for Greenspan.
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Markets

At 9 a.m. EST the

S&P 500

futures were up 12, more than 8 points over fair value, indicating a strong open.

European bourses generally were higher at midday.

Asian markets closed higher, as Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

gained 24.80 to 10,314.91, and Japan's

Nikkei 225

picked up 257.61 to close at 14,028.05.

Brazil sold about 1 billion reals of one-year debt last week at 39.7% interest, as investors demanded higher yields from bonds denominated in the shaky real.

For more markets action and news, click

here.

Companies

Newport News Shipbuilding

(NNS)

announced that it will buy fellow shipbuilder

Avondale Industries

(AVDL) - Get Report

in a stock deal worth about $470 million.

New York Life Insurance's

board of directors voted to keep the company a mutual insurer.

For more news on companies and stocks, click

here.

Tech

High-speed Internet service provider

@Home

(ATHM) - Get Report

yesterday agreed to buy the search engine

Excite

(XCIT)

for $6.7 billion in stock.

TSC's

Kevin Petrie

weighed in yesterday on the deal's impact on the bandwidth industry.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

late yesterday reported second-quarter earnings of 73 cents a share, easily beating analysts' estimates of 59 cents a share.

The

Supreme Court

yesterday refused to hear a case in which

SBC Communications

(SBC)

,

U S West

(USW)

and

Bell Atlantic

(BEL)

attacked the 1996 telecommunications law that kept them from selling long distance service in America. San Antonio-based Baby Bell company

SBC Communications

(SBC)

will acquire

Comcast's

(CMCSK)

cellular business for about $1.7 billion in cash and debt.

For more tech news and commentary, click

here.

International

British Aerospace

yesterday agreed to buy

General Electric PLC's

Marconi Electronics for about $12.7 billion in a deal that will create a U.K. defense group on the scale of U.S. juggernauts such as

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

and

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Report

.

For more international news and commentary, click

here.

General News

Federal Reserve

Chairman

Alan Greenspan

addresses a

House

committee today on the state of the economy.

Commerce Department

figures show housing starts are now at an 11-year high.

President Clinton

proposed investing a portion of

Social Security

funds in the stock market in his State of the Union address last night.

In a meeting with two top

NATO

generals, Serbian President

Slobodan Milosevic

maintained his opposition to a U.N. investigation of the Serbian massacre of 45 ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

Elsewhere

Ho-hum.

University of Texas

running back

Ricky Williams

last night accepted his second consecutive

Doak Walker

award.