Amazon.com (AMZN) - Get Report was cut to buy from strong buy at SG Cowen. PaineWebber cut its 2001 EPS view to a loss of 66 cents from a loss of 42 cents. Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette begged to differ, saying it maintained the giant online retailer as a top pick.

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

also received a fresh round of ratings noise after it posted fourth-quarter results that beat estimates.

Merrill Lynch

raised estimates for 2001 EPS to 69 cents from 61 cents and 2001 EPS view to 90 cents.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

lifted its 2001 EPS view to 68 cents from 61 cents and its 2002 EPS view to $1.01.

Credit Suisse First Boston

reiterated JDS as a buy.

Upgrades

Burlington Northern

(BNI)

: UP to market outperform from market perform at Goldman Sachs.

Hershey

(HSY) - Get Report

: UP to market outperform from market perform at Goldman Sachs.

Halliburton

(HAL) - Get Report

: UP to buy from market perform at DB Alex. Brown.

Norfolk Southern

(NSC) - Get Report

: UP to market outperform from market perform at Goldman Sachs.

PPL Corp.

(PPL) - Get Report

: UP to buy from neutral at PaineWebber; price target: 36.

Tommy Hilfiger

(TOM)

: UP to buy from hold at CSFB; price target: 18.

Verisign

(VRSN) - Get Report

: price target UP to 210 from 50 at Merrill Lynch.

UnumProvident

(UNM) - Get Report

: UP to top pick from buy at DLJ.

Downgrades

Applebee's

(APPB)

: DOWN to neutral from strong buy at

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

.

Finova

(FNV) - Get Report

: DOWN to hold from outperform at

ABN Amro

.

MarketWatch.com

(MKTW)

: price target DOWN to 50 from 85 at DLJ.

SkyWest

(SKYW) - Get Report

: DOWN to outperform from strong buy at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter;

Goldman Sachs

removed the stock from its recommended for purchase list.

Initiation

NetEase.com

(NTES) - Get Report

: NEW near- and long-term buy at Merrill Lynch.