DOWN $9.68 3/4 PER $1,000
VS. JAPANESE YEN
American, United and Continental airlines canceled last week's 3 percent fare increases as rivals declined to follow, according to Bestfares.com, an Internet site that tracks fares. American was the first to raise prices, on Nov. 22, to help offset rising jet-fuel costs.
President Clinton called for updated laws to ease business on the Internet while protecting the public interest. He called on the Commerce Department to lead a group in identifying laws that hinder the growth of electronic commerce and to recommend how these laws should be revised.
AltaVista, the Internet search service, said it will buy closely held financial Web site Raging Bull, giving AltaVista 1.7 million more users and making it the ninth-most-visited Web site. Terms of the stock-for-stock acquisition were not disclosed. CMGI, an Internet venture-capital company, bought a majority stake in AltaVista in August and revamped it by adding expanded search capability and live events, news and stock quotes to gain more users.
Advanced Micro Devices introduced a 750-megahertz microprocessor, leapfrogging Intel, the world's largest computer-chip maker, with a faster processor. AMD's Athlon chip surpasses Intel's fastest chip, the 733-megahertz Pentium III, which it introduced in October.
The Internal Revenue Service will start a pilot program this week to allow some taxpayers to have their tax questions answered via e-mail via 100 professional tax preparers.
T-bill rates rose. The discount rate on three-month Treasury bills auctioned yesterday rose to 5.2 percent, from 5.105 percent last week. Rates on six-month bills rose to 5.33 percent from 5.235 percent. The actual return to investors is 5.355 percent for three-month bills, with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,868.60, and 5.57 percent for a six-month bill selling for $9,730.50. Separately, the Federal Reserve said the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable-rate mortgages, rose to 5.65 percent last week, from 5.56 percent the previous week.
Redback Networks, whose shares have surged 13-fold since it went public six months ago, agreed to buy Siara Systems for about $4.27 billion in stock to develop products that speed Internet traffic. The networking-equipment maker will issue 31.3 million shares for closely held Siara, which has no products for sale and no revenue. Siara is developing a fiber-optic system to manage Internet traffic.
EMachines, a leading maker of low-priced computers, said it was merging with FreePC and adding Web-friendly features to its PCs in a further challenge to industry leaders such as Compaq and Dell. EMachines, which specializes in computers priced at just a few hundred dollars, did not disclose terms of the deal.
Warner-Lambert sued Pfizer, seeking to terminate Pfizer's rights to co-market and share profits from the cholesterol drug Lipitor. The medication, expected to reap $3.6 billion in 1999 sales, is at the heart of an $80 billion hostile takeover bid that Pfizer launched against Warner-Lambert last month.
American Airlines and its pilots won a delay of a hearing they said could hurt efforts to settle disputes stemming from the cancellation of 6,600 flights in February. U.S. District Judge Joe Kendall postponed the session until at least May. He wants to determine whether anyone other than the Allied Pilots Association and its two top officers must pay a $45.5 million fine he imposed after pilots walked off their jobs and defied his order to return.
Abby Joseph Cohen, Goldman Sachs's investment strategist, said she expects the Standard & Poor's 500 index to reach 1475 by the fall of 2000. She previously had predicted that it would reach 1450 by the summer of next year. The index closed yesterday at 1407.83.
Canadian Airlines, its cash and time running out, said a $62.4 million takeover bid from rival Air Canada was financially fair, but it pledged to keep seeking a sweeter deal.
Royal Bank of Scotland offered $43.2 billion for National Westminster Bank, already the target of an unfriendly bid by Bank of Scotland.
Black & Decker of Baltimore has agreed to pay $575,000 to the Consumer Product Safety Commission to settle allegations that the company withheld vital information from the government about its Spacemaker Optima toaster, which was recalled after causing fires. Black & Decker did not admit wrongdoing.
CAPTION: Treasury Bills (This graphic was not available)