It seemed a little like high school this week on Wall Street. There were rumors and speculation about who was dating whom. And it all swirled around American Express. It started on Christmas Eve, when it shares rose sharply on whispered talk that it would merge or be bought by Citicorp. American Express was having nothing to do with the talk, even issuing a statement saying it was not in merger discussions with anyone. Then Thursday another suitor was rumored to be interested: General Electric. Neither party would comment on this rumor and Wall Street decided it was tired of it all. American Express dropped $1.25 the last two days of the week to finish at $58.37-1/2. … The FCC handed out an early Christmas present Tuesday, proposing to revamp fees local phone companies charge long distance providers. The change would ease costs for the providers, good news for AT&T.; Its stock rose $1.62-1/2 Thursday and another $1 Friday before closing at $43.37-1/2
It wasn’t a merry week for Vivra Inc., which dropped $1.50 Friday on news the federal government was investigating its Medicare and Medicaid billing practices. The dialysis provider finished the week at $25.87-1/2.