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National Discount Brokers

(NDB)

jumped 3 1/2, or 14.3%, to 28 after

Deutsche Bank

formalized a plan to buy up to 19.3% of the online broker, in an attempt to gain a foothold in the online investing market. Deutsche Bank is buying 3 million shares of NDB's common stock at $45.31 a share, an 81% premium over its closing price on Wednesday.

The companies said the union will give NDB access to Deutsche Bank's U.S. equity research and initial public offering capabilities and it will give Deutsche Bank access to NDB's online investor community.

For more on this

story, see coverage from

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom.

New Focus

(NUFO)

popped 31, or 155%, to 51 in its trading debut, lately up 23 1/2, or 117.1%, to 43 5/8.

Credit Suisse First Boston

priced 5 million-shares at $20 a share, above its $16-$18 price range. New Focus makes fiber optics products for optical networks.

Fellow IPO

iBeam's

(IBEM)

reception was quieter but respectable nonetheless. Shares rose 4, or 40%, to 14 after

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

priced 11 million-shares mid range at $10 a share. The company is an Internet broadcast network provider.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

CFW Communications

(CFWC)

jumped 5, or 14.1%, to 40 1/2 after it agreed to purchase

R&B Communications

in a deal valued at $131 million CFW also said that it plans to pay $407 million for

Primeco's

PCS business.

Hartford Financial

(HIG) - Get Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (HIG) Report

gained 2 13/16, or 5.3%, to 56 7/16 after saying it will pay $50.50 a share for the remaining 18.5% interest in

Hartford Life

(HLI) - Get Houlihan Lokey, Inc. Class A Report

that it doesn't already hold. The bid, which is 15% higher than its initial offer of $44 a share, values Hartford Life at roughly $7 billion.

International Paper

(IP) - Get International Paper Company (IP) Report

was unchanged at 39 1/16 after it said the

Justice Department

approved its merger with

Champion International

(CHA) - Get China Telecom Corp. Ltd. Sponsored ADR Class H Report

. Champion climbed 13/16 to 74 1/16.

Federal antitrust officials are suggesting that

MCI WorldCom's

(WCOM)

merger with

Sprint

undefined

should be stopped because it would infringe on antitrust law. WorldCom lost 2 7/16, or 5.8%, to 39 9/16 while Sprint slipped 1 3/4 to 56 1/4. The Justice Department is against the merger because it would bring together the second- and third-largest long-distance providers, threatening competition in Web switching services.

For more on

this story, take a look at the coverage out of

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom.

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Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.)

AnnTaylor

(ANN)

added 3/8 to 25 1/4 after it posted first-quarter earnings of 55 cents a share, topping the 14-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 51-cent profit.

CBRL

(CBRL) - Get Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. Report

lost 21/64 to 12 63/64 after it reported third-quarter earnings of 25 cents a share, above the 12-analyst estimate by a penny, but in-line with the year-ago earnings.

Hormel

(HRL) - Get Hormel Foods Corporation (HRL) Report

climbed 7/16 to 16 13/16 after it reported second-quarter earnings of 26 cents a share, beating the four-analyst estimate by a penny and up from the year-ago earnings of 22 cents.

As

reported yesterday,

Lycos

(LCOS)

posted third-quarter earnings of 7 cents a share, topping the 15-analyst estimate of 5 cents and up from the year-ago loss of a penny. Lycos said revenue for the quarter came in at $78.6 million, a 120% increase from the last year's $35.8 million. The stock bounced after hours and was up 4 45/64, or 8.2%, to 62 5/16 in regular trading today. (For more, see last night's

The Night Watch).

Yesterday, the online media company announced a $12.5 billion merger with Spain-based Web company

Terra Networks

(TRRA)

. Terra, which received downgrades from

ABN Amro

and others, continued to fall during today's trading session on news of that deal.

Keebler

(KBL)

lost 1 1/16 to 33 5/8 after it reported first-quarter earnings of 55 cents a share, which includes a 4-cent gain. The nine-analyst estimate expected the company to post a 45-cent profit. The year-ago report was 37 cents a share.

Men's Wearhouse

(MENS)

lost 2 3/4, or 12.1%, to 20 despite reporting first-quarter earnings of 32 cents a share, beating the 10-analyst by a penny and the year-ago report of 25-cent profit.

Venator Group

(Z) - Get Zillow Group, Inc. Class C Report

slipped 7/8 to 10 15/16 after it reported first-quarter earnings of 11 cents, missing the 6-analyst estimate by a penny, but up from the year-ago loss of 8 cents a share.

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Analyst actions

One day after

Mattel

(MAT) - Get Mattel, Inc. Report

got a new CEO, it also got a new and improved rating from

Merrill Lynch

. This morning, the firm upgraded Mattel's medium-term rating to accumulate from neutral and its long-term rating to buy from accumulate. Mattel lifted 1/8 to 12 7/8.

Upgrades

Three investment banks raised earnings estimates for

Analog Devices

(ADI) - Get Analog Devices, Inc. Report

a day after the company reported sharply higher second-quarter earnings. Analog Devices slipped 5/16 to 73 3/16.

  • Goldman Sachs raised its 2000 EPS estimates to $1.35 a share from $1.15 and his 2001 estimate to $1.75 a share from $1.48.
  • Merrill Lynch raised its 2000 estimates to $1.32 a share, from $1.17 and 2001 EPS to $1.77 from $1.52.
  • SG Cowen raised its 2000 EPS view to $1.32 a share from $1.12 and 2001 EPS to $1.74 from $1.40.

Baker Hughes

(BHI)

: price target UP to 50 from 40 at

Prudential Securities

. Baker Hughes stumbled 1 11/16 to 36 1/16.

Dress Barn

(DBRN)

: UP to attractive from neutral at

Bear Stearns

; price target: 27. Dress Barn lifted 1 3/16, or 5.9%, to 21.

Intimate Brands

(IBI)

: price target UP to 50 from 47 at

Credit Suisse First Boston

. Intimate Brands fell 3/4 to 44 9/16.

M.A. Hanna

(MAH)

: intermediate-term rating UP to accumulate from neutral at Merrill Lynch. M.A. Hanna bounced 1/2 to 12 1/2.

Pepsi Bottling Group

(PBG)

TheStreet Recommends

: 2000 EPS estimates UP to $1.38 from $1.27 and 2001 estimates up to $1.72 from $1.56.at Salomon Smith Barney. Pepsi Bottling added 5/8 to 26 1/16.

Sysco

(SYY) - Get Sysco Corporation Report

: long-term rating UP to buy from attractive at Merrill Lynch; price target: 49. Sysco tacked on 9/16 to 41 1/8.

Vishay

(VSH) - Get Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. Report

: price target UP to 125 from 120 at

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

. Vishay advanced 1 1/2 to 90.

Yankee Candle

(YCC)

: price target UP to 29 from 23 at Prudential. Yankee Candle edged up 9/16 to 21 15/16.

Downgrades

AT&T

(T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report

: 2000 revenue growth forecast DOWN to 6% from 8.5%; 2000 earnings forecast down to $1.80 a share from $2.17 and cash earnings expectations to $2.40 a share from $2.70 at

Lehman Brothers

. AT&T shed 1 3/16 to 36 15/16.

American Eagle Outfitters

(AEOS)

: price target DOWN to 35 from 44 at

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray

. American Eagle Outfitters declined 15/16, or 5.4%, to 16 7/16.

Dillard's

(DDS) - Get Dillard's, Inc. Class A Report

: first-quarter earnings estimate DOWN to 39 cents a share from 57 cents at

A.G. Edwards

; fiscal 2001 estimates DOWN to $1.82 from $2.16 a share. Dillard's tacked on 1/16 to 14 7/8.

Equant

(ENT) - Get Global Eagle Entertainment, Inc. Report

: DOWN to neutral from accumulate at Merrill Lynch, and to outperform from strong buy at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Equant plummeted 14 1/2, or 23.6%, to 46 7/8.

MGM Grand

(MGG)

: DOWN to neutral from buy at

Salomon Smith Barney

. MGM Grand lost 5/16 to 33 1/4.

Schlumberger

(SLB) - Get Schlumberger NV Report

: DOWN to outperform from strong buy at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter; price target UP to 95 from 75. Schlumberger skidded 2 1/16 to 80 15/16.

Smith International

(SII)

: DOWN to outperform from strong buy at Morgan Stanley. Smith International shed 6 13/16, or 7.8%, to 80.

Source Media

(SRCM)

: price target DOWN to 14 from 16 at Prudential. Source Media was unchanged at 6 5/8.

Initiations

Concord Communications

(CCRD)

down 1 3/8 to 26 1/2: NEW outperform rating at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter; price target: 44.

Delphi

(DPH)

down 1/8 to 18 3/8:NEW long-term buy at J.P. Morgan.

Illuminet

(ILUM)

dropped 4 1/32, or 9%, to 41: NEW outperform at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter: price target: 65.

Micromuse

(MUSE)

dropped 6 5/8, or 7.3%, to 84 1/8: NEW strong buy at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter; price target: 150.

Visual Networks

(VNWK)

jumped 5, or 12.6%, to 44 5/8: NEW strong buy at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter; price target 75; NEW buy at Lehman Brothers; price target: 42.

Vornado Realty

(VNO) - Get Vornado Realty Trust Report

slipped 1/8 to 35 11/16: NEW buy at Lehman Brothers; price target: 42.

Group Moves

PaineWebber

upgraded two regional airlines and initiated coverage on another:

  • Atlantic Coast Airlines (ACAI) lost 3/4 to 30 3/8: to attractive from neutral.
  • Mesa Air (MESA) - Get Mesa Air Group Inc Report was unchanged at 6 3/4: to buy from neutral.
  • Mesaba (MAIR) lost 3/8 to 12: NEW neutral.

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Offerings and stock actions

Calpine

(CPN)

declined 1 5/8 to 109 1/8 after it set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Chase Manhattan

(CMB)

added 1 1/8 to 75 1/8 after it set a 3-for-2 stock split.

Tiffany

(TIF) - Get Tiffany & Co. Report

slid 2 5/16 to 68 1/8 after it said it will split its stock 2-for-1.

Timberland

(TBL)

hopped 2 1/4 to 72 1/8 after it said it would split its Class A and Class B common shares 2-for-1.

Vishay Intertechnology

(VSH) - Get Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. Report

climbed 1 1/2 to 90 after it set 3-for-2 stock split.

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Miscellany

American Home Products

(AHP)

will launch a drug named Protonix to rival

AstraZeneca's

(AZN) - Get Astrazeneca PLC Sponsored ADR Report

top-selling heartburn remedy Prilosec, reported

The Wall Street Journal

. American Home Products gained 1 1/4 to 58 while AstraZeneca added 13/16 to 41 13/16.

JDS Uniphase's

(JDSU)

fell 5 15/16, or 6.4%, to 86 9/16 after CEO and co-Chairman Kevin Kalkhoven announced his retirement. Jozef Straus, the company's president, COO and co-chairman, will succeed Kalkhoven. Straus will remain in the position of co-chairman.

For more on

this story, take a look at the coverage out of

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom.

The government turned down

Microsoft's

(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Report

plan to alter its business operations, stating that the effort would not be effective measure to stop the software giant from infringing antitrust laws. The Justice Department is holding to its proposal to split up the company. Microsoft moved down 1 1/2 to 66 3/16.

ShopNow.com

(SPNW)

gained 1/4 to 5 3/8 after it said it will change its name to

Network Commerce

. The company said the name change is part of an effort to create a new corporate identity that better reflects its position as a provider of technology, services and commerce networks for Internet sites, businesses and merchants.

Network Commerce's core commerce infrastructure technology, commerce applications and services will be known as the Network Commerce Distributed CommerceSuite. Built on the Distributed CommerceSuite are

b2bNow.com

,

FreeMerchant.com

,

BottomDollar.com

and

SpeedyClick.com

. The names of these Internet properties will remain the same. The company also offers consulting, custom commerce solutions, and integrated marketing services through its eBusiness Services division.

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