Stocks Overcome Buffett-Inspired Weakness at Open

Major indices were mixed at midday.
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FRANKFURT -- Stocks bounced back after a weak open, overcoming worries stemming from Warren Buffett's remarks that the U.S. market is in a "dangerous" period.

Vast liquidity and merger hopes cushioned the fall and then helped lift bourses into modestly positive territory as worries about bond yields and corporate earnings faded into the background.

In Frankfurt, the

Xetra Dax

was down 37 points at 4760, while in London the

FTSE

was up 21 at 6082 and in Paris the

CAC

was up 7 at 4056.

Andreas Kehl, equities sales trader at

Deutsche Bank

in Frankfurt, pointed to Dax 4750 as a major support level. Thus far the DAX has held the level on a closing basis. But the trader thinks the level will eventual crack and is advising clients to postpone buying.

"If we break 4750, we are going to sell off hard," he said. "It will be a quick move down and it will be felt across Europe."

On the corporate front, U.K. palm-top computer firm

Psion

slipped 3.1% after reporting that full-year profit more the doubled, but that software investment costs are high and will be a drag on 1999 profits. Psion is involved in a joint venture called

Symbian

with mobile-phone heavyweights

Nokia

(NOK.A)

,

Ericsson

(ERICY)

and

Motorola

(MOT)

.

German business software

SAP

was down 4.1% after

TheStreet.com

reported Tuesday that SAP America President Jeremy Coote will depart to become general manager of

Siebel

(SEBL)

.

SAirGroup

, the owner of

Swissair

, fell 2.4% after announcing that 1998 net profit was up 11.4%, but that 1999 would be a difficult year.

Shares of French automaker

Peugeot Citroen

fell 3.7% after disappointing results. The company reported 1998 profits of 484 million euros, reversing 1997's 422 million-euro loss.

Finnish IT services firm

Tieto

plans to buy Swedish rival

Enator

for $1 billion in stock. Tieto shares were up around 7% and Enator was up 9.2%.