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Stocks to Watch: Five Wall Street Firms Call for New Market System

America Online and Time Warner will open their cable-TV lines to several Web providers.

Five of Wall Street's biggest firms --

Merrill Lynch



Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. Report


Morgan Stanley Dean Witter



Edward Jones


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

TheStreet Recommends


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

New York Stock Exchange

and the



Merger partners

America Online



Time Warner


will announce today that they will open their cable-TV lines to several Web providers,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. According to the


, the announcement could ease regulators' concerns related to the deal, but could also face criticism on whether it allows for nondiscriminatory access.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures


(DOX) - Get Amdocs Limited Report

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.

Clear Channel

(CCU) - Get Cia Cervecerias Unidas SA Report

has agreed to pay $4.4 billion in stock for

SFX Entertainment


, the companies said. The acquisition, which includes $1.1 billion in SFX debt, would close in the third quarter of fiscal 2000.



said it agreed to an Asian Internet venture with

Hutchinson Whampoa


MGM Grand





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

The Wall Street Journal

. According to the


, MGM is troubled that



could launch an offer to rival its $3.4 billion bid.



has entered a $5.3 billion stock deal to buy wireless phone company




The Wall Street Journal

reported. TeleCorp is the biggest affiliate of


(T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report

wireless division.



said it agreed to pact with

TL Ventures


EnerTech Capital Partners

to start a Web site to target suppliers and carriers called

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

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(Earnings estimates are from

First Call/Thomson Financial


BJ's Wholesale

(BJ) - Get BJ's Wholesale Club Holdings, Inc. Report

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


said it expects its third-quarter earnings to greatly beat the two-analyst estimate of 8 cents a share.

United Rentals

(URI) - Get United Rentals, Inc. Report

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.

Offerings and stock actions

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter priced a 5.25 million-share IPO for

Avenue A


above its expected price range at $24 a share.

Chase H&Q


Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

priced a 4.25 million-share IPO for



above its expected range at $18 a share.

Goldman Sachs

priced an 8 million-share IPO for


(NIKU:Nasdaq) above range at $24 a share.






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

America Online




(NOK) - Get Nokia Oyj Report




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.

Safeguard Scientifics

(SFE) - Get Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. Report

set a 3-for-1 stock split.


British Telecom


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 Altria Group Inc Report

said it would give up its fight to block

Food and Drug Administration

proposals aimed at regulating the tobacco industry, reported in

The Washington Post


For analysis of the market's preopen tone and trends, see the Wake-Up Call, published separately.