News In Brief

The US stock market reopened Monday with expectations

high that it would climb just as European and Asian markets did in reaching record levels. Vigorous trading activity was seen as a sign of confidence that last year's rally would continue now that concerns about potential Y2K glitches have subsided. The European Central Bank said all its computer systems were functioning normally and markets in Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Madrid, Helsinki, and Amsterdam all achieved new peaks. Stock markets in Tokyo, Sydney, and London were closed on Monday for holidays.

The 1990s was the decade of corporate mergers, The Washington Post reported, in a story that cites a record $3.4 trillion in worldwide deals announced last year as a sign of the times. Thomson Financial Securities Data, a Newark, N.J.-based markets-research firm, keeps score of such transactions, which have resulted in global consolidations in a number of industries, including oil, telecommunications, media, and defense. Merger mania was especially apparent in the US, where a merger occurred, on average, every hour for the past 24 months.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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