Dell (DELL) - Get Report CEO Michael Dell is expected to announce a deal with Ariba (ARBA) later today.

Dell gained 3 1/2, or 6.8%, to 54 3/4, while Ariba shed 7 3/8 to 298. Dell said that the company's growth is returning after the Y2K slowdown and the fourth-quarter component problems.

Earlier today,

Banc of America Securities

and

Bear Stearns

upgraded Dell. Banc of America upgraded Dell to strong buy from buy. Bear Stearns upgraded Dell to buy from attractive.

Tribune

(TRB)

dropped 6 3/8, or 17.1%, to 30 13/16 after it said it is buying

Times Mirror

(TMC)

. Times Mirror soared 37 11/16, or 78.6%, to 85 5/8. Tribune is the publisher of the

Chicago Tribune

, and also owns numerous television stations in addition to the

Chicago Cubs

Major League Baseball

franchise. Times Mirror is publisher of the

Los Angeles Times

and

Newsday

. Following completion of the deal, Tribune Company will have 11 daily newspapers, 22 television stations and four radio stations.

Credit Suisse First Boston

downgraded Tribune to hold from buy.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Six big Wall Street firms and

Communicator

announced the creation of

Securities.Hub

, an e-commerce concern that will host a series of online marketplaces linking firms with institutional investors.

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

,

J.P. Morgan

(JPM) - Get Report

,

Lehman Brothers

(LEH)

,

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

,

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

(MWD)

and

Citigroup's

(C) - Get Report

Salomon Smith Barney

will own a majority interest in the business. Communicator will provide the infrastructure and operate the business and have a minority interest. Goldman Sachs lost 1 7/8 to 110 3/8; J.P. Morgan jumped 5 15/16, or 5.6%, to 112; Lehman Brothers lost 1 5/8 to 80 ¿; Merrill Lynch dropped 3 7/16 to 101 1/2; Morgan Stanley Dean Witter moved down 3 7/8 and Citigroup was unchanged at 49.

CoreComm Limited

(COMM) - Get Report

climbed 1 1/8 to 49 after it said it is buying

Voyager.net

(VOYN)

for about $540 million in cash and stock. Voager.net gained 1 5/8, or 12.5%, to 14 5/8.

E*Trade

(EGRP)

lost 3/4 to 25 3/4 after it said it is buying

Card Capture Services

, the largest independent network of centrally managed automated teller machines in the United States. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

was unchanged at 77 13/16 after it and

Fiat

said they formed a strategic industrial alliance. General Motors will buy a 20% stake in Fiat for $2.4 billion in GM stock. GM also said it will buy back $2.4 billion of its common stock by the end of the year and said it increased its

Hughes

(GMH)

exchange offer to $9 billion from $8 billion. Hughes lost 1 7/16 to 128 1/4.

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

said it is teaming up with

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

,

Ericsson

(ERICY)

,

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

,

Motorola

(MOT)

,

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

,

Palm

(PALM)

,

Symbian

and others to supply products and services to bring e-business applications to wireless devices. IBM gained 2 1/4 to 107 1/2, Cisco slipped 3/16 to 136 3/16, Ericsson dropped 3 5/16, Intel rose 1 15/16 to 122 1/8, Motorola moved down 8 1/2 to 166 3/8, Nokia slipped 7/8 to 214 1/8 and Palm fell 5 11/16, or 8%, to 64 5/16.

i2 Technologies

(ITWO)

shed 16 13/16, or 8.1%, to 191 3/16 after it said it is buying

Aspect Development

(ASDV)

for $9.3 billion. Aspect Development popped 11 13/16, or 13.9%, to 96 13/16. According to the terms, i2 would swap 0.55 share for each Aspect share after Aspect's 2-for-1 stock split. After the merger is completed, Aspect shareholders will own 18% of the company.

Separately, i2 said it has entered a $280 million stock deal to acquire closely held

Supplybase

. i2 said the deals would not effect fiscal 2000 cash earnings but would contribute to the fiscal 2001 report.

L-3 Communications

(LLL) - Get Report

lost 5/8 to 43 15/16 after it said it is buying the

Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System

product line from

Honeywell

(HON) - Get Report

for $255 million. Honeywell slipped 3/4 to 44 5/8.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

moved down 3 to 98 after it and

Andersen Consulting

agreed to a $1 billion pact to form a joint venture called

Avenade

, a technology services firm that will employ 5,000 and contribute to building Internet businesses using Microsoft software.

Pitney Bowes

(PBI) - Get Report

lost 3/16 to 45 15/16 after it said it formed an alliance with a unit of

Siemens AG

to provide messaging solutions. Pitney Bowes and Siemens will provide software, hardware and Web-based applications that reduce processing time, speed access and prioritize the delivery of important mail and messages.

Radio One

(ROIA)

lost 2 5/16 to 63 7/16 after it said it will buy 12 stations from

Clear Channel

(CCU) - Get Report

for $1.3 billion and three stations from

Shirk

for $40 million. Radio One will also buy

Davis Broadcasting

for $24 million Clear Channel lost 1/8 to 62..

Texas Utilities

(TXU)

inched up 1/16 to 26 11/16 after it said it was launching an offer for Spanish utility

Hydroelectrica del Cantabrico

for 21.25 euros ($20.54) a share, or 2.4 billion euros ($2.32 billion).

Tommy Hilfiger

(TOM)

is believed to be in talks to buy all or part of privately owned

Calvin Klein

,

The Sunday Telegraph

in London reported. Calvin Klein could be valued at $1 billion, the newspaper said. Tommy Hilfiger edged up 0.7%, to 13 9/16.

Ventro

(VNTR) - Get Report

shed 19 5/16, or 10.7%, to 162 and

Webmethods

(WEBM)

lifted 17 1/2, or 7.5%, to 250 after the companies said they entered a software deal.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(

Earnings estimates from First Call; new highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified. Earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.

)

Anixter

(AXE) - Get Report

jumped 4 7/16, or 22.5%, to 24 1/8 after it said it expects first-quarter earnings to exceed estimates by 15% to 20%. The company said it expects earnings between 38 cents and 40 cents a share, compared with the year-ago earnings of 19 cents. The current two-analyst estimate is for 34 cents a share.

B/E Aerospace

(BEAV)

lost 1 9/16, or 17.4%, to 7 7/16 after it warned investors that it would post a fourth-quarter loss of $10 million. The eight-analyst estimate expected B/E to report a 37-cent profit.

Progressive

(PGR) - Get Report

lost 1/2 to 49 1/4 after it said its first-quarter earnings would fall below estimates. The current 14-analyst estimate calls for earnings of 50 cents a share.

Offerings and stock actions

Applied Micro Circuits

(AMCC)

fell 9 15/16 to 281 1/16 after it set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Celgene

(CELG) - Get Report

lost 5 1/2 to 163 after it set a 3-for-1 stock split.

Commerce One's

(CMRC)

shed 7 9/16 to 250 after its board approved a 2-for-1 stock split.

Datalink.net

(DLK)

added 14 1/16, or 27%, to 66 after it set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Luxottica

(LUX)

gained 1/16 to 23 11/16 after it said it plans a 2-for-1 stock split and will apply for listing on the

Milan Stock Exchange

by the end of 2000.

Nortel Networks

(NT)

declined 1 3/4 to 121 11/16 after he said it plans to spin off its

Netgear

division as a separate company. Nortel said that

Pequot Capital

would take a $15 million stake in the new company.

J.P. Morgan said

Sony

(SNE) - Get Report

will split its ADRs 2-for-1. Sony sank 18 1/4, or 7.4%, to 225 1/2.

Analyst actions

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

raised

AMR

(AMR)

to strong buy from outperform. AMR advanced 7/16 to 57 5/16.

Merrill Lynch

reinstated

Broadwing

(BRW)

with a near-term accumulate, long-term buy and a 12- to 18-month price target of 50. Broadwing stumbled lost 1 9/16 to 37 3/8.

PaineWebber

raised its 12-month price target on

Calpine

(CPN)

to 150 a share. Calpine fell 6, or 5.4%, to 105.

Credit Suisse First Boston

cut its rating on

Chiron

(CHIR) - Get Report

to buy from strong buy. Chiron plummeted 14 3/16, or 23.6%, to 45 3/4.

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

added

Compaq

(CPQ)

to its value list. Compaq edged up 1/8 to 28 11/16.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

started coverage of

Diversa

(DVSA)

with a buy rating and a 157 price target. Diversa tumbled 9 7/8, or 9.7%, to 91.

Thomas Weisel

analyst Doug van Dorsten started coverage of

Eloquent

(ELOQ)

with a buy rating and a 12-month price target of 60. Eloquent slipped 2 7/8, or 7.2%, to 36 5/8.

Warburg Dillon Read analyst Claire Nickson-Havens raised her rating on

eSpeed

(ESPD)

to strong buy from buy and boosted the price target to 100 from 80. eSpeed popped 8 1/8, or 10.8%, to 82 7/8.

J.P. Morgan

set a 12-month price target for

FleetBoston Financial

(FBF)

at 38. FleetBoston Financial added 7/16 to 26 1/8.

Robertson Stephens

upgraded

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

to strong buy from buy. Intel bounced 1 15/16 to 122 1/8.

Jefferies

said it started coverage of

Juno Online

(JWEB)

with a buy rating and a 12-month price target of 40. Juno Online hopped 3 1/8, or 15.7%, to 23.

Alex. Brown upgraded

Knight/Trimark

(NITE)

to strong buy from buy. Knight/Trimark climbed 2 1/2, or 5%, to 52 1/16.

DLJ said it raised

Kohl's

(KSS) - Get Report

to buy from market performer. Kohl's advanced 1 9/16 to 84 11/16.

SG Cowen

said it started coverage of

Landacorp

(LCOR)

as a strong buy. Landacorp tacked on 2 1/8, or 15%, to 16 1/14.

Merrill Lynch said analyst Michael Hughes started coverage of

Lending Tree

(TREE) - Get Report

with a near- and long-term buy rating and a 12- to 18-month price target of 33. Lending Tree gained 13/16, or 5.7%, to 14 7/8.

Wit SoundView

upped its rating on

Lucent

(LU)

to buy from hold and set a price target of 90. Lucent skidded 1 3/4 to 66 1/4.

Thomas Weisel analyst Keith Gay initiated coverage on

VarsityBooks.com

(VSTY)

with a buy rating. VarsityBooks.com declined 7/16 to 9 3/8.

Salomon Smith Barney

downgraded

StarMedia Network

(STRM) - Get Report

to neutral from buy. StarMedia Networks plummeted 17 1/4, or 34.5%, to 32 3/4.

PaineWebber

sliced its rating on

Suiza Foods

(SZA)

to attractive from buy and cut its price target to 42 from 51. Suiza Foods tumbled 1 3/8 to 37 5/16.

Merrill Lynch analyst Robert Schenosky started coverage of

Weirton Steel

(WS)

with a rating of accumulate for the intermediate term and buy for the long term. Weirton Steel declined 1/8 to 9 1/2.

Miscellany

Aetna

(AET)

slipped 5 1/4, or 9.3%, to 50 3/4 after it said it planned to separate its finance and health care businesses "as soon as an orderly separation can be achieved." The company also plans to sell off international assets that do not fit the strategy of either resulting company. Meanwhile,

Warburg Dillon Read

cut its rating on Aetna to reduce from hold.

Excite@Home

(ATHM) - Get Report

hopped 1 5/16 to 29 7/8 after it said it will launch an online service aimed at high-speed users.

JC Penney

(JCP) - Get Report

gained 1/16 to 14 after it said that the head of its

Eckerd

division, Frank Newman, has departed to become the CEO of online drugstore

more.com

. Last year, JC Penney agreed to spin off 20% of its Eckerd unit as a tracking stock. The offering will take place in the fist half of 2000.

The Heard on the Street column in the

Journal

says biotech stocks are acting like Internet stocks, driving the biotech industry's market capitalization up 50% to $600 billion in just two months time. The story speculates that some biotech companies now have the capacity to swallow up old-line pharmaceuticals companies, though it adds no imminent deals are on the horizon.