Wednesday, June 30, 1999

"If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments." -- Earl Wilson

Latest Market Numbers

More Problems at eBay

Online auctioneer eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) has experienced intermittent technical problems for the past two days. This comes less than a month after its service crashed for a day due to a software glitch, a problem that caused the company's shares to plunge 18% on June 14.

Starting at around 9:30 a.m. Eastern time Monday, eBay announced it was "having intermittent difficulties with our CGI pool of servers and this is causing some users to receive error messages." It appeared to have the problem under control by around 11 a.m., except that eBay had to shut down its listings and search updates, causing a delay in new listings and a general slowdown of the site.

eBay shut down the site for four hours early Tuesday morning to conduct scheduled maintenance on its servers. Despite the maintenance downtime, though, error messages and slowness persisted, and eBay had to shut down its server pool for over an hour Tuesday, causing most of its website to be inaccessible.

News To Go

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE: WMT) plans to buy a small savings bank in Oklahoma, The Wall Street Journal reported. Federal BankCentre is a closely held thrift in Broken Arrow, Okla. Wal-Mart currently leases space to banks in some 450 of its discount stores. It plans to open and test five of its own branches in the next year.

The Justice Department has launched an antitrust investigation of the undersea cable business, The Wall Street Journal reported. For decades, undersea cables have been built and maintained chiefly by consortia led by AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) and other international phone giants. But of late, start-ups such as Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GBLX) have emerged with lower prices and better service.

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and the Hong Kong government are expected to announce an extension of their talks regarding building a possible theme park in the territory. The two sides appear to have made progress toward a deal.

Biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences (Nasdaq: GILD) announced it has submitted a new drug application (NDA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for adefovir dipivoxil 60 mg, a once-daily treatment for HIV-infected patients. The drug candidate has received "fast track" designation from the FDA and is expected to receive a six-month priority review for accelerated approval.

Online advertising agency Modem Media.Poppe Tyson (Nasdaq: MMPT) said it has ended its relationship with AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) because "our philosophies and strategies are not aligned." Still, the ad agency said it remains "confident with our ability to meet current analyst consensus estimates for 1999."

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Yi-Hsin Chang (TMF Puck), Writer
Jennifer Silber (TMF Amused), Editor