Roundup: Yesterday's markets

Financial news from around the world

Wall Street was disappointed that the Fed cut in the overnight lending rate was only a quarter percent, so the market indexes moved just a little lower at the close, although the Dow fell 100 when the news was first known. Still, it was the first rate cut since January 1996, and the market hopes for a further reduction. Micron Technology lost 7 percent although its report of a Q4 loss of $89.1million was less than the Street expected was made after the market closed. Micron Electronics (60 percent owned by Micron Technology) made up for it by rising 7 percent after its Q4 beat estimates. The chip maker disclosed it has moved to 0.12 micron manufacturing, and that DRAM demand was up 63 per cent in the recent quarter over the previous quarter. The acquisition of the memory division of TI is expected to close in October, and financial analysts are saying this could put Micron in the top three DRAM producers, depending on how well the TI acquisition is integrated. In fiscal 98, Micron lost $235 million - compared with net income of $332 million last year. Microsoft's gain of just over 1 per cent was being attributed to an IDC report that Exchange did better than Notes/Domino in the first half of the year. But was this commissioned research? Lilly Software, developer of supply-chain software, has acquired Telesis Software, a developer of repetitive and made-to-stock applications. Terms were not disclosed. Michael Dell (who still has 32 per cent of his company) and other Dell execs have been selling some of their shares. Early Christmas shopping, or do they know something? PeopleSoft gained 7 per cent, for no valid business reason, on its entry to the S&P 500. Still, Mary Farrell, a Paine Webber strategist, predicted that "ultimately" US investors will judge US stocks by earnings and interest rates. She believes that Q4 results will be "significantly better" than Q3. ® Click for more stories

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