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Oxford Health Plans is day's big loser

Oxford Health Plans shares fell 62 percent after the company stunned investors with its warning of a third-quarter loss due to delays and errors in customer billing and payments to doctors. The Norwalk, Conn., HMO also said profit will be lower than expected in the fourth quarter and next year as well. Oxford shares fell $42.87{ to $25.87{ in trading of 49-million shares, wiping out $3.4-billion in market capitalization. It was the most active issue in U.S. markets and the biggest percentage loser of the day.

AND THE DAY'S WINNER: Apple Computer shares rose 1.13 percent Monday, the only stock in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index that managed to move in that direction. With Ohio Edison Co. remaining unchanged, 498 stocks in the index fell. Analysts credited Apple's rise to co-founder and interim chief executive Steven Jobs, rumored Friday to be on his way back to the top job permanently.

INTEL TO BUY RIVAL'S OPERATION: Intel Corp. said Monday it will buy Digital Equipment Corp.'s chipmaking operations for $700-million and produce Digital's Alpha chip to end a patent dispute in which Digital accused Intel of stealing technology. The transaction could be worth more than $1.5-billion to Digital, now freed from supporting a money-losing chipmaking business whose sales never took off and into which the company was pumping $150-million a year. Intel gains immediate access to a modern chipmaking plant and puts to rest a thorny legal problem at a time when federal regulators are determining if it tried to monopolize the microprocessor market.

AMERITECH EXPANDS REACH IN EUROPE: Ameritech Corp. said Monday it will buy control of Tele Danmark A/S for 21.15-billion kroner, or $3.20-billion, making Ameritech the largest U.S. investor in Europe's telecommunications industry. Ameritech, based in Chicago, will pay the Danish government, which owns more than half of Tele Danmark, a 34 percent premium for 34 percent of the company. That stake will increase to 42 percent after Tele Danmark completes its plan to buy back shares from the government.

MICROSOFT HITS BACK: Microsoft Corp. on Monday launched a legal counterattack against Sun Microsystems Inc., denying it was trying to disrupt Sun's plans to establish a universal software language for computers. The countersuit heightens the rhetoric between the software makers over a programing language that Sun is trying to establish as an alternative to Microsoft's Windows. Sun's Java language is supposed to enable developers to write software that runs on all computers, freeing people from reliance on one type of machine.


TREASURY YIELDS MIXED: Interest rates on short-term Treasury securities were mixed in Monday's auction. The Treasury Department sold $10.6-billion in three-month bills at an average discount rate of 4.97 percent, up from 4.96 percent last week. Another $11.6-billion was sold in six-month bills at an average rate of 5.08 percent, down from 5.15 percent. The new discount rates understate the actual return to investors: 5.10 percent for three-month bills and 5.29 percent for six-month bills. In a separate report, the Federal Reserve said the average yield for one-year Treasury bills rose to 5.53 percent last week from 5.52 percent the previous week.

Tampa Bay

PAXSON SELLS TAMPA DIVISION: Paxson Communications Corp. of West Palm Beach said Monday it sold the Tampa division of its Paxson Outdoor Inc. for $4.5-million to Universal Outdoor Inc., a unit of Universal Outdoor Holdings Inc. The sale includes 178 outdoor advertising sites. Paxson also plans to sell its rights to an American Hockey League franchise in West Palm Beach. Details weren't disclosed. The sales are part of the company's plan to focus on broadcast television.



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