Daily News from New York, New York on December 9, 1998 · 803
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Daily News from New York, New York · 803

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Wednesday, December 9, 1998
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3 mm mumrm ram DOW JONES -42.49 9,027.98 mi TICKER 1 Markets stumble over global concerns The Nasdaq stock market missed out on another record yesterday as the technology rally faltered, while financial stocks led the broader market lower amid nagging worries about the global economy. The Dow Jones industrial average finished 42.49 lower at 9,027.98 after bouncing back from a 124-point deficit over the final hour of trading. The Dow, which gained 190 points the previous two sessions, now sits about 350 points below the record of 9,374.27 set Nov. 23. The Nasdaq index, which jumped 37 points to a new high Monday, fell 5.89 to 2,034.75 after shedding a 20-point gain. Online sales soar Sales over the Internet rose at-most fourfold during the Thanksgiving holiday week, as more shoppers turn to the convenience of shopping by computer, according to a survey of online retailers by Boston Consulting Group and the trade group Shop.org. Revenues and actual order figures weren't disclosed. Holiday sales over the Internet should rise to $2.55 billion from $800 million last year, according to market research firm Yankee Group. Online sales will top $13 billion in '98, according to an earlier study by Boston Consulting. A&P makeover A&P said it will close or sell 127 of its regional supermarket stores and open 175 to 200 new "superstores" as part of a plan to improve profits. The company, formally known as The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., said the closures would take place over the next year while the new stores would be opened in the coming three years. It currently operates 907 stores with 84 Waldbaum's in the metro area, along with 46 A&P stores and 23 Food Emporiums. ItA&P shares fell 1 to $25.43. Getting Intimate Intimate Brands, parent company of lingerie maker Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, said it is creating a unit that will develop bath, fragrance and cosmetic products. Intimate Beauty's first project will be to take charge of Victoria's Secrets' existing line of beauty products. It will be relocated here from Columbus, Ohio, and Robin Bums a veteran of The Limited and Estee Lauder will be the new company's new president. Limited owns more than 80 of Intimate Brands. 1,100 to get ax Northrop Grumman will cut an additional 1,100 jobs next year due to Boeing's plan to slash commercial aircraft production, a spokeswoman for the nation's fourth-largest military contractor said. Company-wide, Northrop expects employment to fall about 17, or 9,000 workers, due to layoffs and attrition from its current work force of about 54,000. g s. -si a st NASDAQ 5.89 2,034.75 Pow! Time Warner eyes Batman for Broadway atman, the musical, could be headed to Gotham City. Hoping to duke it out with Disney on the Great White Way, Warner Bros, is close to hiring a composer to write a musical on the caped crusader. Sources close to the deal said the Time Warner division, which controls the rights to the masked crime fighter, is negotiationing with Jim Steinman, O) 0) the Grammy-award winning composer known for catapulting Meat Loaf to rock 'n' roll stardom. Steinman' s manager, David Sonenberg, confirmed talks are underway. "This is a very exciting project that Jim was born to write," Sonenberg said. Time Warner has every reason to steer the Batmobile toward Broadway. The media giant's arch rival, Walt Disney, has already conquered Gotham with two megahits, "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King," which won last year's Tony Award for best musical. Looking to cash in on the valuable Batman franchise, Time Warner assigned Warner Bros. TV executive Gregory Maday, a former theater director, to scope out a Broadway musical. Maday is expected to come to New York this week in hopes of advancing the project Steinman wrote the words and the music for Meat Loaf's two "Bat Out of Hell" albums, which sold more than 50 million copies. The Batman composer wrote the lyrics to Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Whistle Down the Wind" and composed the music and scripted some lyrics for "Dance of the Vampires," both of which are expected to follow the caped crusader to Broadway. The composer has also scripted songs for Barbra Streisand and won a Grammy for the Celine Dion single, "It's All Coming Back to Me." The musical take on the eccen tric DC Comics character could hit Broadway by 2000 or 2001. FOX TRAPPED r I I ast month's LI hot initial public offering from media mogul Rupert Murdoch is looking as cold as 20th Century Fox box office flop "Bulworth." The stock of Fox Entertainment, which made its trading debut Nov. 11 at $22.50, looks dead in the water after a modest run up. It closed yesterday at $22.62. Fox looks even worse compared with Tinsel Town peers CBS (up 12 since Nov. 11), Viacom (up 11) and Time Warner (up 13). "Fox is a laggard," said Barry Hyman, an entertain- JIT TtN. V . I t 5 Hi J! Ik 1 1 111 I I M U V I I 11 i i mil!, -i i. - s , t I i i VaX ft I II 1 1 i ? M ' 11 J 1 1A PETER JENNINGS PLUGGED IN ment analyst at Ehrenkrantz King Nussbaum. But that could change. A slew of media analysts some of whom work for investment banks that sponsored the offering began recommending Fox stock this week. "Fox is a really exciting collection of great assets," said Jill Krutick, an entertainment analyst at Salomon Smith Barney. "We think it can reach $27 over the next 12 to 18 months." COFFEE AND SYMPATHY In between delivering the evening news and writing best-selling books, ABC News anchor Peter Jennings has found time for another activity: buying coffee for ABC workers on the picket line. Jennings has been doling out cups of sympathy to locked out ABC employees by sending them a daily urn of coffee from Old John's, a coffee shop near ABC's head quarters on W. 67th St Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for ABC News, said Jennings' cof-I fee delivery shouldn't be misread , as a sign of support for the union. "He is showing support for his i colleagues on the line," Murphy said. ABC workers have been locked out of their jobs since Nov. 2, when they staged a one-day walkout over a contract dispute involving health benefits. The two sides are trying to work out their differences with a federal mediator. Jennings isn't the only ABC . bigwig who feels sorry for his colleagues. Signing a letter sent to ABC president Robert Iger that says. "We urge you to find common ground," are WABC anchors Bill Beutei and Sarah Wallace, among others. GARY WENDT made GE Capital ,, a financial giant. . ,j GE Capital chairman replaced By AMY FELPMAN Daily News Business Writer Gary Wendt the hard-charging executive who turned GE Capital into a world-class financial powerhouse, but gained notoriety for his messy divorce is out General Electric said yesterday it will replace Wendt as chairman and chief executive of GE Capital Services with Dennis Dammerman, a close confidante of GE's legendary chairman, Jack Welch. Dammerman, 53, has been ' the parent company's chief R-. 3 nancial officer for 14 years and took charge of GE's scandal-rid-den brokerage Kidder Peabody in 1994. He'll also become GE , vice chairman. " The management shuffle. comes at a critical time for GE,' one of the world's largest and most-respected companies, because it is beginning to prepare"! for Welch's expected retire-." ment, when he turns 65 in 2000. " j 'This is all about succession, putting the team in place that, will take us to the next century," f Welch said. He wouldn't comment on who might succeed him or whether Dammerman was a candidate. "It's a horse race," said Richard Henderson, an analyst at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette's Pershing division. While GE is best known for light bulbs and appliances, as well as it ownership of NBC, GE Capital is its single biggest source of profits. Last year, the financial unit with operations ranging from credit cards to equipment leasing contributed 40 of GE's $8.2 billion in profits. Earlier this year, Wendt, 56, gained notoriety for a messy, , high-profile divorce that sparked a national debate on) the role of corporate wives. Ar-j ) guing that her support as a "cor- 1 porate wife" was crucial to her o ex-husband's business success, A Lorna Wendt was awarded $20 ; million by a Connecticut judge. On Wall Street yesterday, GE shares slipped to $90.43.

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