Wednesday, July 28, 1999

A decent day for techs, but a mixed one for blue-chips; Compaq beats estimates; fund manager Neuberger Berman plans to go public.
Author:
Publish date:

Markets

Investors took their second

Humphrey-Hawkins

Rorschach test and came away with a rosier view on the interest-rate outlook than they had after last week's

first go-round in the House. Stocks broke out of a morning slump as a relatively cheery

Fed

boss

Alan Greenspan

answered questions before the

Senate Banking Committee

. Stocks closed mixed, with the biggest gains coming in the technology sector. Market breadth, however, was negative.

The

Nasdaq Composite Index

rose 26.51 to 2705.84, and

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

index gained 13.51 to 584.32. The

S&P 500

picked up 2.56 to 1365.40, while the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

shed 6.97 to 10,972.07. The small-cap

Russell 2000

inched forward 0.13 to 446.61.

The 30-year Treasury bond rose 2/32 to 89 17/32, its yield falling to 6.011%.

The big European indices finished flat to higher, with France's

CAC

and Germany's

Xetra Dax

closing flat while London's

FTSE

gained about 0.5%.

Asian markets moved higher overnight, as Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

added 65.33 to 13,140.42, while Tokyo's

Nikkei

picked up 117.19 to 17,579.91.

More markets news and commentary is available in

TSC's

Markets section.

Companies

Mutual fund manager

Neuberger Berman

said its partners approved plans to take the firm public. The company said it expects to file with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

next month. The firm originally voted to go public last year, but shelved the plan in the face of last fall's market volatility.

Cable TV firm

Charter Communications

, whose principal owner is

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

co-founder

Paul Allen

, filed with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

to raise about $3.45 billion in an initial public offering.

Conoco

(COC)

posted second-quarter earnings of 18 cents a share, 2 cents ahead of the 13-analyst

First Call

estimate but down from the year-ago pro forma 24 cents, before extraordinary items.

CVS

(CVS) - Get Report

posted second-quarter earnings of 40 cents a share, ahead of the 14-analyst

First Call

estimate of 38 cents and above the year-ago operating earnings of 32 cents.

Farm-equipment maker

Deere

(DE) - Get Report

set plans to exit the insurance business by selling its property and casualty insurance operations to

Sentry Insurance

. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Pharmacia & Upjohn

(PNU)

posted second-quarter earnings of 41 cents a share, in line with the 16-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 36 cents, which excludes a one-time charge of 8 cents a share from the settlement of a lawsuit.

More news on companies and stocks is available in

TSC's

Stock News section.

Tech

Compaq

(CPQ)

reported a second-quarter loss of 10 cents a share, a penny narrower than the 30-analyst view. Compaq earned 2 cents a share in the year-ago period.

Broadcom

(BRCM)

said it plans to open a manufacturing and design facility in Singapore that may contribute about 60% of the company's worldwide revenue within a few years.

drugstore.com

(DSCM)

gained 32 1/4, or 179%, to a stratospheric 50 1/4 in its trading debut. Lead underwriter

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

yesterday priced the stock above-range at 18.

Micron Technology

(MU) - Get Report

said it expects long-declining prices for computer memory chips to rise slightly starting next month, as a result of increased demand and low inventory levels.

priceline.com

(PCLN)

yesterday signed a marketing agreement with

AutoNation

(AN) - Get Report

under which the online auto retailer will sell new cars through priceline's Web site.

More tech news and commentary is available in

TSC's

Tech Stocks section.

General News

The

Census Bureau

released figures showing

durable goods orders

increasing 0.3% in June, 0.7 percentage points below expectations and down from May's revised 0.8% gain. Excluding transportation equipment, durable goods orders fell 0.4% in June, vs. a revised 1.4% decline in May.

Gen.

Wesley Clark

confirmed that he will step down from his post as supreme allied commander in Europe in April, three months ahead of schedule. He'll be replaced by Air Force Gen.

Joseph Ralston

, now vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

International

U.K. pharmas

Glaxo Wellcome

(GLX)

and

SmithKline Beecham

(SBH) - Get Report

are expected to announce multimillion-dollar collaborations with two companies trying new applications for existing drugs, including using the antibiotic tetracycline to combat drug-resistant bacteria, the

Journal

reported.

More international news and commentary is available in

TSC's

International section.

Elsewhere

The

Detroit Lions

have broken the spirits of countless fans over the past 40 years. Now they've broken

Barry Sanders'

too. Sanders announced today that he's leaving professional football after 10 years with the Lions, who have won just one playoff game in that period. Sanders is just 1,458 yards shy of breaking

Walter Payton's

career rushing record.