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Archive for Tuesday, April 27, 1999

BUSINESS BRIEFCASE FOR TUESDAY

April 27, 1999

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Tech stocks propel

Wall Street to records

Renewed strength in technology shares took the Nasdaq composite index easily into record territory, extending a hearty rebound from last Monday's 5.6 percent plunge. Blue-chip stocks also rose, with the Dow industrials moving within 9 points of a new high and the Standard & Poor's 500-stock setting a record.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 61.36 to 2,652.05, its first close above 2,600 as it cruised past its previous high of 2,598.81, set April 12.

In a rare departure from the normal scramble on Wall Street, trading was halted for one minute of silence at noon on the New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange, Nasdaq Stock Market and Chicago Mercantile Exchange in memory of the Colorado high school shooting victims.

Wheat condition good;

corn planting lags

The Kansas winter wheat crop remained in mostly good to excellent condition, the state said, but it's still too early to determine how much damage was done by last week's freeze.

In the region that includes Douglas County, corn planting is ahead of the average and statewide pace despite increasingly wet field conditions.

Statewide, corn planting was just 19 percent complete, well behind the 49 percent in the ground by this time last year and 40 percent in the east-central region that includes Lawrence. Spring oats seeding was virtually complete statewide.

British GE buys FORE,

a 'Net equipment firm

Britain's General Electric Co. PLC is buying Internet switching equipment maker FORE Systems Inc. for $4.5 billion in cash in a deal that will bolster GEC's push into the U.S. telecommunications market.

The announcement of the agreement sent shares of Pittsburgh-area-based FORE soaring 38 percent on the Nasdaq Stock Market, while GEC stock rose 5 percent in London. The offer of $35 for each share of FORE represents a 43 percent premium over FORE's closing price Friday.

GEC is Britain's biggest electrical engineering company and not related to the Fairfield, Conn.-based industrial giant General Electric Co.

Earnings roundup

eBay Inc.: Net income $7 million vs. $569,000; per share 5 cents vs. 1 cent.

JPS Packaging Co.: Net income $36,000 vs. net loss $1.15 million; per share 1 cent vs. loss 21 cents.

Vanguard Airlines Inc.: Net income $41,000 vs. net loss $4.59 million; per diluted share nil vs. loss 10 cents.

Williams Co. Inc.: Net income $50.3 million vs. $68.1 million; per diluted share 11 cents vs. 16 cents.

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