The widening economic crisis in Russia, new woes in Latin America and the antics of President Clinton sent the stock market on a nerve-racking free fall last Friday, dropping 288 points.
The global downdraft sent shares on a wild ride, but at the close, the Dow Jones industrial average was only down 77.76 points. Tech stocks didn't return to their opening prices, but some positive news for several companies helped increase the Town Crier Weekly Stock Index.
The index is still up for the year because of positive corporate events. Actions this past week were:
Varian Associates - High-tech equipment maker Varian Associates, Inc. announced Friday that it will spin off its core businesses to help beat back the effects of a weak semiconductor sector.
The plan, approved by the board, would split Varian into three businesses focused on health care systems, semiconductor equipment and various scientific instruments.
In a statement, Chairman and Chief Executive J. Tracy O'Rourke said the spinoff would give each business a sharper focus on its markets, customers, costs and growth potential. This will help boost the value of its stock price, he said. The stock was up 8 points for the week.
Intel - Intel planned to step up its battle with rivals Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and National Semiconductor Corp's Cyrix last Monday when it launched an improved, faster Celeron chip for the low-cost personal computer market.
Intel is expected to introduce two improved versions of the Celeron chip in its biggest assault yet on the booming sub-$1,000 PC market. Two Celeron chips, at speeds of 300 and 333 megahertz, will be launched, analysts said.
Aspect Development - Aspect Development split its stock 2 for 1 at the close of business Aug. 13. The stock is up 62 percent since Jan. 1.
Apple Computer - Orders continue to come in for the recently introduced iMac computer. The stock is up 227 percent since Jan. 1.