(

Updated from 3:51 p.m.

)

FPL Group

(FPL) - Get Report

said it agreed to a merger of equals with

Entergy

(ETR) - Get Report

, creating the United States' biggest electric company. According to the terms, the deal is valued at roughly $7 billion, based on the companies' closing prices Friday. FPL closed at 52 13/16, while Entergy finished at 30 5/16. The merger carries a total enterprise value of $27 billion, which includes $16.4 billion in equity market capitalization and $10.7 in debt and preferred stock.

The transaction calls for FPL shareholders to receive one share of a new holding company for each share of FPL they hold, while Entergy holders would get 0.585 of a share of the newly formed company for each of their Entergy shares.

For additional coverage of the

FPL/Entergy link up, check out

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom story. FPL stumbled 4 9/16, or 8.6%, to 48 1/4, while Entergy skidded 3 3/16, or 10.5%, to 27 1/8.

Ford

(F) - Get Report

announced a joint venture with

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

, bringing wireless technology into its vehicles. The joint venture, which is known as

Wingcast

, will put services such as mobile phone, Web access and entertainment into Ford autos.

According to

The Wall Street Journal

, Wingcast would be based in San Diego, the hub for Qualcomm's business, with Ford taking the largest shareholder stake in the project. The services could be launched in 1 million Ford 2002 models.

Former Microsoft exec

Harel Kodesh

has been tapped as the venture's CEO. Ford tacked on 7/16 to 46 9/16 and Qualcomm popped 2 1/2 to 64 15/16.

For additional coverage of

Ford's deal with Qualcomm link up, check out

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom story.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Broadcom

(BRCM)

shot up 11 3/16, or 5.25, to 224 1/4 after it agreed to buy

Altima Communications

in a stock deal valued at $533 million. Broadcom, a telecom circuit maker, said it would issue 2.5 million shares for all outstanding shares of the privately held firm. The deal will have Broadcom taking on a one-time third-quarter charge.

Glaxo Wellcome's

( GLX) proposed merger with

SmithKline Beecham

(SBH) - Get Report

received the thumbs up from shareholders. Glaxo Wellcome lost 1 3/8 and SmithKline shed 1 7/16 to 64.

North Fork Bank

( NFB) has extended its tender offer for

Dime

(DME)

until Sept. 29. The bid, which Dime has repeatedly rejected, had been scheduled to expire today. North Fork Bank skidded 1/16 to 15 7/16, while Dime fell 1/16 to 16 1/8.

Pearson

, publisher of the

Financial Times

, has agreed to purchase

National Computer Systems

(NLCS)

in a cash deal valued at $2.5 billion. According to the terms, Pearson would pay $73 a share for the education services company. National Computer jumped 13 3/4, or 23.6%, to 71 7/8.

Redback Networks

( RBAK) lifted 8 1/2, or 7%, to 130 after it said it entered a $636 million stock deal to acquire Canada-based

Abatis Systems

. The terms call for Redback to issue roughly 5.2 million shares for all shares and warrants of Abatis, a networking technology supplier. The deal, which is based on Redback's closing price on Friday of 121 1/2, will make Abatis a subsidiary of the computer-networking firm.

Time Warner

(TWX)

is expected to announce today that it has opened up its cable lines to

Juno Online Services

, to provide high-speed Web access over Time Warner's broadband network. Juno would be the first third-party ISP to get the OK to use Time Warner's cable lines. The deal comes only days after

Federal Communications Commission

Chairman William Kennard said broadband access was a big concern in the merger of Time Warner and

America Online

(AOL)

. Time Warner hopped 1 5/16 to 76 11/16.

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom wrote about the agreement in a

story this morning.

Laser eye-surgery company

Visx

( VISX) adopted a plan to ward off a potential bid from famed corporate raider

Carl Icahn

.

Icahn told the company July 20 that he intended to buy more than $15 million worth of Visx shares through his

Icahn Associates

The move by Icahn could put the company in play as a potential acquisition target by other bidders.

In turn, at a special meeting, Visx's board of directors adopted a shareholder rights plan -- often called a poison pill -- to make its stock less attractive to a potential acquirer. Such a plan can result in the issuance of new preferred shares or allow current shareholders, apart from the suitor, to buy common stock at a bargain price, raising the cost of a takeover for the acquirer. Visx gained 3 3/16, or 14.4%, to 25 3/16.

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Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Briggs & Stratton

(BGG) - Get Report

bounced 1 7/16 to 35 3/16 after it posted fourth-quarter $1.24 a share, topping the three-analyst estimate of 95 cents but down from the year-ago $1.51 profit. The company warned that its first-quarter 2001 earnings would be greatly below last year's 66-cent profit.

Tyson Foods

(TSN) - Get Report

declined 1/8 to 9 3/8 after it posted third-quarter earnings of 18 cents a share, in line with the 17-analyst estimate but down from the year-ago 30 cents. Tyson warned that its fourth-quarter earnings could be half that of the third quarter, and that first-quarter 2001 earnings could be even worse than the fourth quarter.

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Bell Microproducts

( WCOM) set a 3-for-2 stock split. Shares of Bell Microproducts advanced 5/8 to 23 5/8.

Speech-recognition software company

SpeechWorks

( SPWX) raised the price of its initial public offering of 4.75 million shares to $17-$19 a share from $13 to $15. The company is expected to debut this week.

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Analyst actions

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

dropped

WorldCom

( WCOM) from its focus list, replacing it with

Siebel

( SEBL). WorldCom boosted 2 1/2, or 6.8%, to 39 1/16, while Siebel hopped 8 5/8, or 6.3%, to 145.

Upgrades

Cooper Cameron

(CAM)

: UP to buy from outperform at

Salomon Smith Barney

; price target of 100. Cooper Cameron lifted 5/8 to 64 5/8.

Benchmark Electronics

(BHE) - Get Report

: UP to buy from market perform at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette. Benchmark Electronics moved up 1 3/16 to 41 1/8.

BF Goodrich

( GR): UP to strong buy from buy at

SG Cowen

. BF Goodrich climbed 1 1/2 to 35 11/16.

Interpool

( IPX): UP to buy from hold at

ING Barings

. Interpool rose 1 1/2 to 35 11/16.

LaFarge

(LAF)

: UP to outperform from neutral at

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

. LaFarge's stock gained 1 to 22 1/2.

Lan Chile

(LFL)

: ADDED to Latin America recommended list from purchase list at

Goldman Sachs

. Lan Chile fell 1/8 to 6 5/8.

Nationwide Financial

( NFS): UP to strong buy from buy at

UBS Warburg

; price target UP to 49 from 38. Shares of Nationwide Financial slipped 1/8 to 6 5/8.

Ocean Energy

( OEI): UP to strong buy from buy at

Banc of America

. Ocean Energy increased 11/16, or 6%, to 12 1/8.

Veeco Instrument

(VECO) - Get Report

: UP to intermediate-term buy from accumulate; fiscal 2000 estimates UP to $1.40 from $1.35; fiscal 2001 EPS estimates UP to $2.85 from $2.65. Veeco Instrument popped 6 1/2, or 9%, to 78 3/4.

Williams

( CK): fiscal 2000 EPS estimates UP to 90 cents from 60 cents at Goldman Sachs. Williams edged up 23/32 to 41 47/64.

Downgrades

Crompton

( JBX): DOWN to market outperformer from recommended for purchase at Goldman Sachs. Crompton climbed 1/4 to 9 131/6.

Jack In The Box

( JBX): DOWN to outperform from strong buy at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Jack In The Box dropped 3 1/8, or 12.7%, to 21 7/16.

Initiations

Adolph Coors

( RKY): NEW outperform; price target of 75 at Morgan Stanley. Adolph Coors increased 3 1/4, or 5.4%, to 63.

Coherent

(COHR) - Get Report

: NEW buy at UBS Warburg; price target of 80. Coherent lost 5/8 to 59 7/8.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

(MGM) - Get Report

: NEW outperform at Salomon Smith Barney. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer advanced 3/4 to 25 1/16.

SBA Communications

(SBAC) - Get Report

: NEW strong buy at

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

; UP to hold from reduce at UBS Warburg. SBA Communications ascended 1 1/2 to 45 1/8.

UTI Energy

(UTI) - Get Report

: NEW buy at

Lehman Brothers

. UTI Energy increased 1 9/16, or 5.2%, to 31 1/2.

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Miscellany

Clothing retailer

Tommy Hilfiger

( TOM)said its licensing subsidiary is suing

Goody's Family Clothing

( GDYS) for allegedly selling counterfeit Tommy Hilfiger clothing and putting fake Hilfiger logos on their own apparel. Tommy Hilfiger slipped 1/4 to 9 3/8.

Base-metal miner

Cominco

( CEPH) refused

Teck's

$100 million offer for 4 million shares and refused to make any recommendations on the offer to shareholders. Cominco fell 1/8 to 12 7/16.

Cephalon

( CEPH) shares plummeted after its narcolepsy drug proved ineffective in treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in adults. The drug-maker said it does not expect the news to impact analysts' earnings and revenue forecasts. Cephalon plunged 22 7/16, or 35.8%, to 40 5/16.

Financial services giant

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

stated that

e-Citi

head, Ed Horowitz, has resigned. The announcement comes on the heels of e-Citi losses and criticisms from Wall Street of Citigroup's Internet strategy. Citigroup improved 1 13/16 to 70 1/2.

Gaylord Entertainment

( GET) said Terry London resigned as president and CEO. Gaylord Entertainment bounced 3 1/16, or 14.1%, to 24 13/16.

A federal appeals court granted a last-minute reprieve to online song-swapping service

Napster

, temporarily staying a district court judge's order that the Internet service shut down by midnight Friday,

Reuters

reported. Last Wednesday, a San Francisco district court judge told Napster to

cease online trading of songs covered by copyrights.

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

covered the decision in a

story Friday evening.

Philip Morris

(MO) - Get Report

will announce today that it is raising its U.S. cigarette prices by 6 cents a pack, according to wire service reports. Philip Morris lowered 7/16, or 1.7%, to 25 1/4.

Other tobacco companies are expected to follow Philip Morris, the world's largest tobacco company, in hiking the price of their products. Philip Morris makes the popular Marlboro, Benson & Hedges and Virginia Slims cigarette brands.

The tobacco industry is reeling from a series of lawsuits claiming compensation for smoking-related illnesses. In early July, a Florida jury awarded $145 billion in punitive damages to plaintiffs in a tobacco-related class action against the nation's major cigarette manufacturers.

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By the Numbers

The data on NYSE and Nasdaq percent winners and losers are filtered to exclude stocks whose previous day's volume was less than 25,000 shares; whose last price was less than 5; and whose net change was less than 1/2.

Dow point gain and loss data are based on New York closing prices and do not reflect late composite trading.

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