Wednesday, July 21, 1999

The major indices end higher as tech stocks bounce back. Blue-chip and small-cap stocks were mixed.
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Markets

You can open your eyes now.

Against many investors' greatest fears, stocks held their ground nicely today, with technology stocks -- which took the brunt of yesterday's beating -- snapping back particularly strongly. The

Nasdaq Composite Index

gained 29.35 to 2761.53, and

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index picked up 21.61 to 615.34.

Blue-chips and small-caps were more mixed. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

gained 6.65 to 11,002.78; the

S&P 500

rose 2.17 to 1379.27; and the

Russell 2000

advanced 1.07 to 454.62.

The big European indices finished solidly lower, with Germany's

Xetra Dax

, France's

CAC

and the London

FTSE

all losing more than 1%.

Asian markets went south overnight. Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

lost 180.74, or 1.3%, to 13,419.66, while Tokyo's

Nikkei

shed 265.06, or 1.5%, to 18,257.52.

More markets news and commentary is available in

TSC's

Markets section.

Companies

Cincinnati Bell

(CSN)

is buying fiber-optic carrier

IXC Communications

(IIXC)

for about $3.2 billion, including assumed debt. Under terms of the deal, each share of IXC stock will be converted into 2.0976 shares of Cincinnati Bell stock.

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

set plans to buy biotech company

Centocor

(CNTO)

for $4.9 billion in stock, or about $61 a Centocor share, based on yesterday's closing prices.

Ryder System

(R) - Get Report

agreed to sell its school bus business to Britain's

FirstGroup

for $940 million in cash.

United Parcel Service of America

filed today with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

for an initial public offering of about 10% of its common stock.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

will be the lead underwriter of the offering.

More news on companies and stocks is available in

TSC's

Stock News section.

Tech

Amazon.com

(AMZN) - Get Report

is considering establishing a physical presence by setting up kiosks inside bricks-and-mortar retail chains, according to a person familiar with the matter.

TSC

had

the story this morning.

Art Technology

(ARTG)

gained 6, or 50%, to 18 1/16 in its first day of trading, having been priced at $12 a share last night by lead underwriter

Hambrecht & Quist

.

Hoover's

(HOOV)

, an online provider of business information, advanced 8, or 57.6%, to 22 in its trading debut. Lead underwriter

J. P. Morgan

priced the stock last night at $14 a share, at the top of its pricing range.

Insight Communications

(ICCI)

picked up 5 7/16, or 22.2%, to 29 15/16 in its first day on the market. Lead underwriter

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

priced Insight yesterday at $24.50 a share, above its pricing range of $21-$23.

MP3.com

(MPPP)

was surging 35 5/16, or 126.1%, to 63 5/16 after the IPO was priced by

Credit Suisse First Boston

at a whopping $28 a share, above its $24-$26 range. MP3.com had earlier traded as high as 92.

More tech news and commentary is available in

TSC's

Tech Stocks section.

General News

The

Census Bureau

released figures showing June

housing starts

at a seasonally adjusted rate of 1.57 million units, down 5.64% from May.

Divers have located the body of

John F. Kennedy Jr.

, along with the wreckage of his airplane, off the coast of Martha's Vineyard.

International

Allied Domecq

agreed to sell its pub business to

Punch Taverns

for about $4.4 billion.

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

will supply more than $100 million worth of digital subscriber line equipment to Internet access provider

Covad

(COVD)

.

More international news and commentary is available in

TSC's

International section.

Elsewhere

How's this for some legal advice: 1980s pop star

Gloria Trevi

and her former manager, Sergio Andrade, disappeared months ago amid allegations that the pair had lured underage girls into having sex with Andrade. Her lawyer, Francisco Gastelum, explained that they had "every intention" of presenting themselves to the authorities for questions. But he added that, after hearing that the police had issued an arrest warrant for Trevi, they immediately decided to hide.

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really

dumb question? Even better. Send it to

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