Bombs and markets have their own ineluctible logics. After lazing around break-even for most of the day, stocks strenthened toward the close, even as


fighter planes were lighting up the skies over the former Yugoslavia. Blue-chips ended mixed, but the

Nasdaq Composite Index

rode a late surge in its bellwether technology issues to close sharply higher. The Net sector never got it together, having languished in shallow negative territory all day long.


Dow Jones Industrial Average

lost 4.99 to 9666.84; the

S&P 500

shed 6.45 to 1268.59; the Nasdaq gained 42.42 to 2365.26; the small-cap

Russell 2000

added 1.03 to 384.40; and Internet Sector

index shed 2.70 to close at 594.11.

International markets didn't look any livelier. Far from it -- European bourses closed sharply lower, while Asian markets plummeted again, with Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

losing 329.67 to 10,711.34 and Japan's


sinking 503.63 to 15,515.47 on more fiscal year-end selling.

For more markets action and news, click




(CBS) - Get Report

is dumping its pension plan in favor of a hybrid stock-option program for employees.

had the

scoop Monday.

Chase Manhattan


today said it has named William B. Harrison, Jr. CEO and president. Harrison replaces Walter V. Shipley as chief executive and will take over for President Thomas G. Labrecque on June 1. Shipley will retain his position as chairman of the board.


(C) - Get Report



announced yesterday that it will acquire the credit-card business of

Mellon Bank


for an undisclosed amount.

Shares of upscale office furniture maker


(KNL) - Get Report

are soaring on news that majority investor

Warburg Pincus Ventures

has made a takeover offer of $25 a share, totaling about $425 million. Knoll was lately up 8 13/16 to 24 1/6.


(AIT) - Get Report

today announced plans to buy 20% of

Bell Canada

, a unit of Canadian telecom holding company


(BCE) - Get Report

. Yesterday the

Justice Department

yesterday approved Ameritech's acquisition by

SBC Communications


on the condition that the companies sell cellular operations in 17 markets. The

Federal Communications Commission

is still looking at the deal.

For more news on companies and stocks, click



America Online



plans to slash up to 1,000 jobs as it reorganizes after its acquisition of


. AOL said that as many as 500 of these cuts will come from Netscape's workforce.


last week AOL would lay off Netscape workers.

Another big parts supply contract for


(IBM) - Get Report

. Weeks after it inked a $16 billion parts deal with


(DELL) - Get Report

, IBM said it will sell $3 billion of components over five years to computer-storage company




For more tech news and commentary, click


General News

NATO war planes are pounding Serbian targets tonight in the organization's first ever offensive action against a sovereign nation. Russian President

Boris Yeltsin

said he was "shocked" by the bombings and that his country would cease cooperation with NATO.


House of Lords

today ruled that Gen.

Augusto Pinochet

is not entitled to immunity. But the court also said that he cannot be tried for any human rights abuses before the U.K. signed the International Convention Against Torture in 1988, thereby making moot most of the warrant on which Pinochet was arrested in Britain. Spain will still seek Pinochet's extradition on pre-1988 charges of human rights violations.


Commerce Department

today released figures showing durable goods orders declining 5% for the month of February, the largest drop in more than seven years.


European Union

leaders today named former Italian Prime Minister

Romano Prodi

president of the

European Commission

. The

European Parliament

must approve his appointment.

U.K. telecom giant

Cable & Wireless



MediaOne Group


may sell or take public

One 2 One

, their jointly owned U.K. mobile phone company, according to



For more international news and commentary, click



Catering to sports fans' rapacious appetite for

Pat Riley

neologisms -- think "three-peat" -- the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion

Detroit Red Wings

made some monster acquisitions yesterday ahead of the


trading deadline. The Wings picked up left winger

Wendel Clark

and defensemen

Chris Chelios


Ulf Samuelsson

from the

Tampa Bay Lightening

, the

Chicago Blackhawks

and the

New York Rangers

, respectively.

Have a dumb question relating to finance? Great. Have a


dumb question? Even better. Send it to, and I'll do my best to answer. Include your full name, and please, no questions seeking personal financial advice or regarding personal brokerage disputes. And this reminder: Because of the volume of mail, personal replies can't be guaranteed.