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

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.
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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

.

Merger partners

America Online

(AOL)

and

Time Warner

(TWX)

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

The Wall Street Journal

reported. According to the

Journal

, 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

Amdocs

(DOX) - Get 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 Report

has 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.

DLJdirect

(DIR)

said 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.

TeleCorp

(TLCP)

has 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.

Yellow

(YELL)

said it agreed to 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

(Earnings estimates are from

First Call/Thomson Financial

.)

BJ's Wholesale

(BJ) - Get 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

(NDB)

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

United Rentals

(URI) - Get 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

(AVEA)

above its expected price range at $24 a share.

Chase H&Q

and

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

priced a 4.25 million-share IPO for

Net.Genesis

(NTGX)

above its expected range at $18 a share.

Goldman Sachs

priced an 8 million-share IPO for

Niku

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

3Com

(COMS)

subsidiary

Palm

(PALM)

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

(AOL)

,

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

and

Motorola

(MOT)

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 Report

set a 3-for-1 stock split.

Miscellany

British Telecom

(BTY)

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

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.