Wednesday, May 5, 1999

The market wobbles but it won't fall down. High Speed Access files for its IPO and Informix names a Frenchman CEO and president.
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Markets

It was just like playoff hockey out there today -- turn your head for a second and you miss a 170 point swing.

Stocks were roundly depressed early in the afternoon. But it all bounced back like flubber during its final two hours, especially tech and Net issues. All major proxies closed solidly higher.

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average

gained 69.30 to 10,955.41; the

Nasdaq Composite Index

added 49.20 to 2534.32; the

S&P 500

picked up 15.32 to 1347.32; the small-cap

Russell 2000

grew 1.67 to 434.26; and

TheStreet.com Internet Sector

jumped 22.36 to 637.49.

Major European indices all finished in the red, with the U.K.'s

FTSE 100

down 2%, Germany's

Dax

down 1.4% and France's

CAC 40

down 1.6%. Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

jumped 26.52 to 13,586.21 overnight. Tokyo markets were closed for a holiday.

For more markets action and news, click

here.

Companies

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

won a five-year, $650 million contract to maintain the

Navy's

fleet of T-45 Goshawk training planes at the Kingsville, Texas, and Meridian, Miss., bases. The contract includes Boeing partners

Rolls-Royce

,

British Aerospace

and

Raytheon

(RTN.A)

.

Comcast

(CMCSK)

and

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

have forged a deal to end the bidding war for

MediaOne

(UMG)

. Under the terms of the agreement, Comcast will get 750,000 additional subscribers -- and ultimately 2 million more on top of that -- in exchange for offering AT&T telephone service to its customers and walking away from its MediaOne bid. Separately, AT&T is negotiating a deal that would involve

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

paying about $5 billion for a 2% to 3% stake in the company in return for AT&T's agreement to use the Windows operating system in its new digital services packages, according to

The New York Times

.

CEO Larry Franklin was named to succeed Houston H. Harte as chairman of direct marketing firm

Harte-Hanks

(HHS) - Get Report

. Harte, son of the company's founder and chairman for 27 years, will assume the position of vice president, while Franklin will keep his CEO title.

Ted Deikel

is stepping down as CEO of catalog retailer

Fingerhut

in a move that was widely expected ever since the company was purchased by

Federated Department Stores

(FD)

in February. Deikel, who began his direct marketing career by founding a mail-order

monkey business, will remain Fingerhut's chairman through January.

MCI WorldCom

(WCOM)

is expected to announce today that it has ended negotiations to buy

Nextel Communications

(NXTL)

, according to reports by

Reuters

and

The Associated Press

.

For more news on companies and stocks, click

here.

Tech

Computer-aided design software maker

Autodesk

(ADSK) - Get Report

is taking its lumps after warning yesterday of first-quarter pro-forma earnings of 10 cents to 15 cents a share and diluted earnings of 2 cents to 5 cents. The 10-analyst

First Call

view called for a profit of 40 cents vs. the year-ago 55 cents. Autodesk closed down 5 to 23 9/16.

Internet service provider contractor

High Speed Access

filed with the

Securities Exchange Commission

for an IPO of 13 million shares with an initial pricing range of $11 to $13 a share.

Database management systems maker

Informix

(IFMX)

named Jean-Yves Dexmier its CEO and president.

National Semiconductor

(NSM)

is giving up on the PC processor business in favor of chips for new "smart devices." The company set plans to cut 550 jobs and to take up to $300 million in associated charges.

Shares of digital networking gear maker

Newbridge Networks

(NN)

are getting hammered after it warned last night that its fourth-quarter earnings will be 12 cents to 14 cents a share, well short of the 15-analyst forecast of 21 cents vs. the year-ago 12 cents. Newbridge lost 7 15/16 to 28 7/8.

For more tech news and commentary, click

here.

General News

Two U.S. airmen died early today when their Apache helicopter crashed during a training mission over northeast Albania; they are the first American fatalities in the

NATO

campaign. Meanwhile,

Defense

Secretary

William Cohen

said the U.S. is ready to release two Serbian prisoners of war.

International

German drug company

Hoechst's

(HOE)

supervisory board made no decision on management's plan for selling its chemicals unit and accelerating its $17 billion merger with France's

Rhone-Poulenc

(RP) - Get Report

, but said that it "supports the projects and will take a final decision on the main aspects by May 11."

Nycomed Amersham

(NYE)

is quitting drugs. The U.K.-based life-sciences firm is exiting the pharmaceuticals business by selling a 70% stake in subsidiary

Nycomed Pharma

to equity firm

Nordic Capital

for about $554 million.

For more international news and commentary, click

here.

Elsewhere

The

Pittsburgh Penguins

and the

St. Louis Blues

became the final two teams to advance to the second round of the NHL playoffs with respective Game 7 victories over the

New Jersey Devils

and the

Phoenix Coyotes

last night.

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