Daniel McGinn

A Classic Matchup

JUST A YEAR AGO, HILTON HOTELS Corp. was a company with a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door. As rival Marriott sped ahead in the race to tuck in America's travelers, Hilton lagged.

Dissing Dow Jones

YOU ALREADY KNOW THAT THE BULLS behind the Dow Jones industrial average have been partying for a long time. But you may not have noticed that the stock of Dow Jones & Co.--the company that publishes the Dow--has missed the fun.

Here's To Pie In The Sky

ON A RECENT TUESDAY EVENING AT an office complex outside Chicago, a dozen people sat down to work. Their assignment: eating pizza. For two hours they chowed down on concoctions made with experimental sauces, doughs and exotic toppings.

Who's On Top?

THE SALES STAFF AT CAPITAL FORD IN Raleigh, N.C., has its pitch down pat. First they guide a prospective buyer to the Taurus, Ford's flagship family car. They show off its curvaceous body, invite the customer to look under the hood and get behind the wheel.

Death Of The Stick?

IF YOU SPOT A RED ACURA stalled at a Cambridge, Mass., intersection this month, chances are good that Benjamin Kao is behind the wheel. With some help from his parents, the 20-year-old Harvard biochemistry major recently traded in his tried-and-true BMW.

Ford At The Wheel

IN MAY OF 1979, HENRY FORD STRUCK a blow against nepotism at his company and companies everywhere. ""There are no crown princes in the Ford Motor Co.,'' he declared at his final annual meeting as CEO.

More Old Muck On Gm

THIRTY-TWO YEARS AGO NO ONE HAD heard of Ralph Nader, a lawyer working on a book about General Motors. Then came "Unsafe at Any Speed," Nader's landmark expose that blasted GM's Corvair.

Comfort For Codgers

CARLOS GUTIERREZ IS A STATIONWAGON MAN. Whether he's making deliveries from his print shop in Springer, N.M., or carting around grandkids, his Mercury wagon does the job.

I Spy A '98 Corvette

If THE GATEKEEPERS AT GENERAL Motors have their way, only a handfull of insiders will see the 1998 Corvette before its unveiling at next January's auto show.

Gm's Hard Driver

THESE ARE GRIM DAYS IN THE MOTOR City. The Red Wings just lost another chance at the Stanley Cup, and the Tigers are the worst team in baseball. On top of all that, next week the city will endure the beginning of the triannual serum between the Big Three car-makers and the United Autoworkers.

Working To Beat The Rap

AS THE AUTO EDITOR AT CONSUMERS Digest, Jim Gorzelany drives 100 cars a year, but he still hasn't forgotten his tussle with a Dodge Intrepid. During a test drive two years ago, he parked the car outside his Chicago home on a cold January day as the mercury plunged below zero.

A Camera For A New Generation?

AT FIRST GLANCE, IT LOOKS like a scene from "Melrose Place": a twentysomething architect, a glass-and-hardwood office, a high-pressure meeting. The phone rings. "Hi, it's me," says a sultry voice. "Busy, very busy," says Jeff, the frazzled architect.

The Inquisitor's Inquisition

THE AUTO INDUSTRY'S LONGEST-RUNNING whodunit may finally get aired out in a Detroit courtroom. Last week General Motors filed a federal lawsuit against its former purchasing chief, Jose Ignacio Lopez de Arriortua, along with Volkswagen chief Ferdinand Piech and 10 other VW executives.

Don't Cry For Kirk

POOR KIRK KERKORIAN. FOR NEARLY a year the 78-year-old billionaire has been dueling for control of Chrysler Corp., the automaker of which he's the largest individual shareholder.

It's Crunch Time, Bob

FORGET THE SUPER BOWL. IN THE Motor City, where the Lions season ended weeks ago, the real spectator sport is watching the mudslinging at Chrysler Corp. It's been quiet lately, but now the real battle for control of the automaker is about to begin.

Lemon Or Lemonade?

Tennis star Andre Agassi will never forget his first ride in a Vector W8, the fastest lemon the auto industry has ever produced. It was on a spring day in 1991, shortly after he wrote a $400,000 check for the 200-mile-an-hour turbocharged coupe.

Love It Or Leave It

Sensuous, romantic," the reviewer for esquire calls it. Motor Trend the "seductive praises styling and in-touch driving sensations." But customers? "Looks like a fishbowl," grumps one.

A Walk On The Wired Side

Call it the E-mail message heard round the world. Last spring John Callan sent a note to an editor at PC World magazine.His request was simple: he wanted to join a private Internet marl list for journalists, in which reporters exchange gossip.

Running A Mutual Fund, Kansas City Style

Ask any group of fund managers if they want folks to invest for the long term, and watch their hands go up. Now ask how many of them make investors think long-term, and you'll see exactly four hands in the air: the team of managers running Twentieth Century Giftrust, the country's best-performing mutual fund over the last decade.

Start The Banking Revolution Without Us

When the justice department's antitrust division filed suit against would-be partners Microsoft and Intuit last week, the software makers tried to put an upbeat spin on it. "We're optimistic," says Microsoft chief Bill Gates. "We are resolved and resolute," says Scott Cook, chairman of Intuit, the personal-finance software powerhouse.

He Keeps It Dull And Duller

Wall Street has been euphoric lately as the stock market has been hitting new highs every week. But at The Monitor Group in Falls Church, Va., investment adviser Lynn Hopewell hasn't been clinking champagne glasses.

A Guru At The Anchor's Desk

Turn on the TV, click the remote to CNBC, and you might find anchorBill Griffeth interviewing Robert Rubinabout the peso's plummet or talking with Intel CEO Andrew Grove about the Pentium chip's problem.

Lynch Does Ed Mcmahon

Move over, Ed McMahon -- Peter Lynch is out to take your place in America's mailboxes. Lynch, who guided the Magellan Fund to record returns before becoming Fidelity's vice chairman, is the poster boy on a sweepstakes offer being mailed out to millions of the demographically beautiful.

Read It And Weep

Tom Brokaw watched the marines move into Somalia. Dan Rather was on hand for the occupation of Haiti. Last week, as the sudden financial woes of Orange County, Calif., kept the stock and bond markets churning, business network CNBC took the cue.

Heat For A Hot Market

Last week should have been a festive one for The Nasdaq Stock Market. Most of its top execs were at the Securities Industry Association convention in Boca Raton, Fla., hoisting cocktails and hitting golf balls.

The Intelligent Investor

IN HIGH-SCHOOL BIOLOGY CLASSES, STUdents learn to cut up frogs to find out what's inside. On Wall Street, investment managers do much the same thing, dissecting companies' financial statements in search of a stock's real worth.