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Roundup: Markets on 7th October

Book deal impacts Amazon, AMD goes down on good news. Bizarre...

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The Nikkei put on another 6 per cent yesterday, making an astonishing 12 per cent rise in the last two days, but it remains to be seen if sentiment is backed by action from the Diet. The Dow and FTSE were essentially unchanged, but Nasdaq slipped 3 per cent. Wall Street's mood was one of caution about quarterly earnings and global economic weaknesses. Alan Greenspan, the Fed chairman, noted in a conference speech that the US economy had weakened, and that "Asian contagion" had not gone into remission. Barnes & Noble, the bookstore, put on a modest 5.5 per cent after it became known that German media conglomerate Bertelsmann AG was putting up $200 million for a 50 per cent stake in barnesandnoble.com. By some neat arithmetic, each company will put $100 million into the Web subsidiary, which means that Barnes and Noble does not have to find any extra cash. Amazon.com felt the draught from this deal and "a possible transaction" between N2K and CDnow (both music retailers and competitors), and dropped 14 per cent. Borders, another major US bookstore, fell 6 per cent. Motorola gained 5 per cent while AMD tumbled 14 per cent despite its good news about profitability yesterday. Dell fell 9 percent, and Cisco 5 per cent. Oracle put back 5 per cent after yesterday's fall of 9 per cent, which Oracle said resulted from a "highly misleading" Reuters' report about potential price cuts. AOL fell 7 per cent, and Microsoft lost 4 per cent to close at 94. Symantec managed to remain unchanged after downgrades and expected 2Q earnings some 10 per cent below earlier estimates. ® Click for more stories

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