There was plenty of noise in the IPO sector today as investors fired up the price of three new issues. Avenue A (AVEA) , an Internet advertising firm, raced up Wall Street, gaining 48, or 200%, to 72.

Net.Genesis

(NTGX)

, a marketing software firm, created a lot of capital, rising 38 13/16, or 215.6%, to 56 13/16 and

Niku

(NIKU)

, a Redwood City, Calif.-based Internet company, popped 45, or 187.5%, to 69.

In the high-flying tech sector, chip-maker

Rambus

(RMBS) - Get Report

was sitting on top, rocketing up 60 5/8, or 25.2%, to 301 5/8 after it announced that two large chipmakers have pushed further in producing chips based on its technology. On the

New York Stock Exchange

,

Safeguard Scientifics

(SFE) - Get Report

soared 30 7/16, or 21.1%, to 174 15/16 after it set a 3-for-1 stock split.

(

Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified. New highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified.

)

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Amdocs

(DOX) - Get Report

popped 8 11/16, or 13.3%, to 74 3/16 after it said it has entered a $1 billion stock deal to buy Canadian customer-service software maker

Solect Technology

. Amdocs will issue 15.5 million shares and options for all of Solect's shares.

Merger partners

America Online

(AOL)

and

Time Warner

(TWX)

said that they will open their cable-TV lines to several Web providers. According to

The Wall Street Journal

, the announcement could ease regulators' concerns related to the deal, but could also face criticism on whether it allows for nondiscriminatory access. America Online lost 1 3/8 to 59 1/4 while Time Warner fell 1 7/16 to 85 1/4.

Clear Channel

(CCU) - Get Report

lost 8 9/16, or 11.4%, to 66 5/8 after it agreed to pay $4.4 billion in stock for

SFX Entertainment

(SFX)

, the companies said. The acquisition, which includes $1.1 billion in SFX debt, would close in the third quarter of fiscal 2000. SFX gained 1/2 to 38 1/2.

DLJdirect

(DIR)

rose 1 3/8, or 14.4%, to 10 15/16 after it agreed to an Asian Internet venture with

Hutchinson Whampoa

.

MGM Grand

(MGG)

informed

Mirage

(MIR)

that it has obtained financing for its proposed acquisition of Mirage, reported in

The Wall Street Journal

. According to the

Journal

, MGM is troubled that

Harrah's

(HET)

could launch an offer to rival its $3.4 billion bid. MGM Grand lost 5/16 to 19 7/8, Mirage fell 3/16 to 15 3/4 and Harrah's lost 9/16 to 19 1/8.

TeleCorp

(TLCP)

fell 8 1/16, or 14.9%, to 45 15/16 after it entered a $5.3 billion stock deal to buy wireless phone company

Tritel

(TTEL)

,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. TeleCorp is the biggest affiliate of

AT&T's

(T) - Get Report

wireless division. Tritel gained 7 3/4, or 32.3%, to 31 3/4 and AT&T rose 4 3/8, or 9.7%, to 49 3/8.

Tibco Software

(TIBX)

popped 22, or 20.2%, to 131 after

BellSouth

(BLS)

subsidiary BellSouth Wireless Data said it will use Tibco's B2B infrastructure software.

24/7 Media

(TFSM)

dropped 3, or 6.1%, to 46 1/2 after it said it will acquire

Exactis.com

(XACT)

in a $490 million stock swap. 24/7 Media said it will issue 0.60 shares for each Exactis.com share. Exactis popped 7 13/16, or 41.8%, to 26 1/2.

Veeco Instruments

(VECO) - Get Report

vaulted 7 13/16, or 10.5%, to 82 1/8 after it said it has agreed to acquire

CVC

(CVCI)

in a stock deal valued at $380 million. CVC climbed 4 3/4, or 16.4%, to 33 3/4. According to the terms, CVC shareholders would receive 0.43 Veeco share in exchange for each of their CVC shares. The deal values CVC at a 10% premium to Monday's closing price of 29, based on Veeco's closing price of 74 15/16.

Yellow

(YELL)

slipped 5/8 to 16 after it said it agreed to a pact with

TL Ventures

and

EnerTech Capital Partners

to start a Web site to target suppliers and carriers called

Transportation.com

. James Ritchie, former Ryder Integrated Logistics vice president, has been tapped as the site's president and CEO.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

BJ's Wholesale

(BJ) - Get Report

gained 2 3/8, or 8.3%, to 31 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings of 63 cents a share, a penny better than the eight-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 50 cents.

National Discount Brokers

(NDB)

jumped 14 1/2, or 46.8%, to 45 1/2 after saying it expects its third-quarter earnings to greatly beat the two-analyst estimate of 8 cents a share.

United Rentals

(URI) - Get Report

lost 1/4 to 15 5/8 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings of 48 cents a share, a penny better than the nine-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 33 cents.

Vlasic

(VL)

lost 3/16, or 6.3%, to 2 13/16 after it reported second-quarter loss of 36 cents, in line with the four-analyst estimate but down from the year-ago 26 cents.

Offerings and stock actions

Exchange Applications

(EXAP)

slipped 1/2 to 108 5/8 after it announced a 2-for-1 stock split.

Motorola

(MOT)

motored up 11 7/8, or 7.5%, to 170 3/8 after it said it would seek approval for a 3-for-1 stock split.

3Com

(COMS)

subsidiary

Palm

(PALM)

raised the expected price range of its IPO to $30 to $32 a share from $14 to $16 a share.

After the offering, its parent, 3Com, will receive 532 million shares and will divest the shares within six months by handing them over to its stockholders. 3Com soared 18 15/16, or 24%, to 98.

America Online,

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

and Motorola are set to buy $225 million worth of the

Palm Pilot

maker's stock at its IPO price.

Goldman Sachs

is serving as the lead underwriter for the 23 million-share deal. Nokia inched up 1/4 to 203 1/2.

Analyst actions

Lehman Brothers

initiated coverage of

Avanex

(AVNX)

with a buy rating and a price target of 250.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

started Avanex at outperform and also set a 250 target, while

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray

started it at strong buy with a target of 240. Avanex's post-IPO quiet period ended yesterday. Avanex edged up 3/8 to 208 3/8.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

raised its rating on

Aether

(AETH)

to buy from market perform. Aether soared 45 3/8, or 21.3%, to 258 3/8.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

initiated coverage of

Altera

(ALTR) - Get Report

,

Amtel

(ATML)

and

Xilinx

(XLNX) - Get Report

with strong buy ratings.

Altera popped 8 1/4, or 11.5%, to 79 3/4 and Amtel mounted 5 7/8, or 13.4%, to 49 1/2, while Xilinx added 9 1/2, or 13.5%, to 79 3/4.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter upgraded

Anheuser-Busch

(BUD) - Get Report

to strong buy from outperform. Anheuser-Busch gained 2 7/8 to 64 1/8.

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray initiated

Antigenics

(AGEN) - Get Report

at strong buy with a price target of 62. Antigenics climbed 5, or 12.5%, to 45.

Goldman Sachs

raised

Circuit City

(CC) - Get Report

to the recommended list from market outperform. Circuit City tacked on 4 9/16, or 12.7%, to 40 3/8.

Credit Suisse First Boston initiated coverage of

CTC Communications

(CPTL)

with a buy rating. CTC Communications bounced 6, or 8.7%, to 75.

Goldman started coverage of

Digital Island

(ISLD)

at market outperform. Digital Island added 5 1/8 to 116 1/8.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown raised its rating on

Equitable Resources

(EQT) - Get Report

to buy from market perform. Equitable Resources rose 3 3/16, or 9.2%, to 37 3/4.

Warburg Dillon Read

initiated coverage of

HealthGate Data

(HGAT)

at strong buy with a price target of 21. HealthGate Data lifted 2 1/8, or 25.3%, to 10 1/2.

Lehman Brothers sliced its rating on

Hershey Foods

(HSY) - Get Report

to outperform from buy. Hershey Foods declined 3/16 to 43 15/16.

J.P. Morgan

sliced its rating on

First Tennessee National

(FTN)

to market performer from buy. First Tennessee slumped 6 1/4, or 26.6%, to 17 1/4.

Wit SoundView

raised its price target on

Integrated Silicon

(ISSI)

to 35 from 22. Integrated Silicon added 2 11/16, or 10.7%, to 27 13/16.

Wit SoundView rolled out coverage of

Juniper Networks

(JNPR) - Get Report

with a strong buy rating and set a price target of 350. Juniper Networks leaped 45 1/4, or 19.7%, to 274 5/16.

Credit Suisse First Boston

upped its price target on

KLA-Tencor

(KLAC) - Get Report

to 100 from 80 and raised its fiscal 2000 earnings estimates to $1.20 from $1.12 a share and its fiscal 2001 estimates to $2.10 a share from $1.75. KLA-Tencor jumped 8 1/8, or 11.6%, to 77 15/16.

Merrill Lynch

raised its fiscal 2000 earnings estimate on

Lehman Brothers

(LEH)

to $8.60 a share from $7.70 and its 2001 estimates to $9.15 a share from $8.65. Lehman rose 4 11/16, or 6.9%, to 72 1/2.

Goldman Sachs rolled out coverage of

Mediacom Communications

(MCCC)

, adding it to its recommended list. Mediacom Communications edged up 1/8 to 17 1/16.

Deutsche Banc Alex.Brown initiated coverage of

Micron Technology

(MU) - Get Report

with a buy rating. Micron Technology jumped 19 15/16, or 25.5%, to 98.

Credit Suisse First Boston initiated coverage of the following medical device manufacturers:

  • Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - Get Report with a strong buy. Johnson & Johnson slipped 13/16 to 71 15/16;
  • Abbott Labs (ABT) - Get Report with a buy. Abbott Labs slid 3/8 to 32 3/4;
  • C.R. Bard with a hold. C.R. Bard gained 1/4 to 39 1/2;
  • Becton Dickinson (BDX) - Get Report with a hold. Becton Dickinson was unchanged at 31;
  • Boston Scientific (BSX) - Get Report with a hold. Boston Scientific climbed 1/4 to 18 1/4;
  • St. Jude (STJ) with a hold. St. Jude rose 1 5/16, or 5.2%, to 26 1/8;
  • Guidant (GDT) with a buy. Guidant was unchanged at 67 3/8;
  • Medtronic (MDT) - Get Report with a buy. Medtronic bounced 7/16 to 48 7/16.

In other tech news,

Rambus

(RMBS) - Get Report

soared 60 5/8, or 25.1%, to 301 5/8 and

Hewlett Packard

(HWP)

hit an all-time high, ending up 5 5/8 to 134 1/2.

Salomon Smith Barney

sent semiconductors and other tech giants soaring after it raised price targets on the following stocks:

Xilinx to 100 from 65;

LSI Logic

(LSI) - Get Report

to 70 from 57.50. LSI Logic lifted 6 15/16, or 12.1%, to 64 1/4;

PMC-Sierra

(PMCS)

to 250 from 125. PMC-Sierra leaped 14 5/16, or 8%, to 193 1/16;

Vitesse Semiconductor

(VTSS)

to 100 from 40.

Altera to 100 from 80. Vitesse Semiconductor bounced 12 3/16, or 13.3%, to 103 13/16;

Applied Micro Circuits

(AMCC)

to 350 from 200;

Broadcom

(BRCD)

to 250 from 200. Applied Micro shot up 19 5/8, or 7.6%, to 275 1/16

Merrill Lynch upgraded

Smurfit-Stone Container

(SSCC)

to buy from accumulate. The stock rose 1 1/16, or 8.4%, to 13 5/8.

Wit SoundView upped its price target

Uniroyal Technology

(UTCI)

to 70 from 55. Uniroyal Tech gained 7 5/16, or 15.2%, to 55 1/8.

Miscellany

Five of Wall Street's biggest firms --

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

,

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

,

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

(MWD)

,

Edward Jones

and

ABN Amro

-- are calling for a new market system that would have a central display for all stock quotes and one self-regulating group,

The Wall Street Journal

reported.

According to the

Journal

, the firms' controversial proposal would give more control to broker-dealers, while lessening the importance of the

New York Stock Exchange

and the

Nasdaq

.

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

declined 1/16 to 36 15/16 after it said it would begin manufacturing two new long-range versions of its 777 jetliner, with expected delivery in September 2003.

British Telecom

(BTY)

lost 2 1/4 to 178 1/4 after it said it would make its evening Internet access free and cut its subscription charges by 15% in order to compete with other ISPs in Britain.

Philip Morris

(MO) - Get Report

added 1/8 to 20 3/16 after it said it would give up its fight to block the

Food and Drug Administration

proposals aimed at regulating the tobacco industry,

The Washington Post

reported.