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In premarket trading,



was down to 139 15/16 from yesterday's closing price of 146 7/8, after

The Wall Street Journal

reported that China would delay its approval for a Chinese mobile-phone network that would use the company's CDMA technology. According to the


, some foreign business leaders think the postponement might be a bargaining tactic launched before the U.S.


debates support for China's admission into the

World Trade Organization


J.C. Penney


said it reported fourth-quarter earnings of 45 cents a share, missing the 11-analyst estimate of 47 cents and down from the year-ago 72 cents. The retailer said it expects to assume a first-quarter, $200 million restructuring charge for its

Eckerd Drugstore


Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

British Telecom


said it has tapped

Lucent Technologies


to equip multimedia call centers for its customers in Britain. BT said Lucent would begin supplying the call centers immediately, through

BT Business Information Systems

and BT's new

Syncordia eCRM Solutions


Deutsche Telekom


said it has entered a pact with



to boost its phone network and set a separate deal with





to develop a virtual market for e-businesses.

Internet Capital Group


said it has a agreed to buy an interest in

, in which would receive Internet Capital Group stock worth $450 million.



said it has entered a deal with



that involves making an investment in Honeywell's




said it has entered a deal with 19 Web content providers, including





, to offer their services on its mobile phones.

USX-U.S. Steel Group


said that it would make a minority investment in the Internet steel exchange



Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(Earnings estimates are from First Call/Thomson Financial.)

Children's Place


posted fourth-quarter earnings of 51 cents a share, beating the eight-analyst estimate of 49 cents and the year-ago 38 cents.



posted fourth-quarter earnings of 47 cents a share, beating the 21-analyst estimate of 45 cents and up from the year-ago 35 cents. The company said it will repurchase 15 million shares in fiscal 2000.

Gene Logic


said it reported a fourth-quarter loss of 29 cents a share, narrower than the six-analyst estimate of a 31-cent loss but wider than the year-ago 18-cent loss.



said it expects to post fourth-quarter earnings between 37 cents a share and 40 cents. The 16-analyst estimate sees the company reporting EPS of 38 cents.


reported a pro forma fourth-quarter loss of 40 cents a share, narrower than the single-analyst estimate of a 44-cent loss but up from the year-ago 12-cent loss.



said it is on track to post fiscal 2000 earnings in line with the 25-analyst estimate of $1.64 a share. The drug company also said it would complete its current $1 billion stock buyback in the first quarter and initiate another plan.

Wolverine Tube


reported fourth-quarter earnings of 23 cents a share, beating the four-analyst estimate of 21 cents and in line with the year-ago report.

Offerings and stock actions

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

priced ADRs of

Carrier1 International


at $17.4835 each, slightly above the $15-to-$17 range. Each ADR is equal to one-fifth of an ordinary share; the offering includes 9.375 million ordinary shares. Luxembourg-based Carrier1 provides voice, Internet, bandwidth and related telecommunications services in Europe.

Entrust Technologies


said it set an 8.15 million-share secondary offering at $82 a share.

Martha Stewart


said it would repurchase 1.37 million shares from

Time Warner




America Online


said it has chosen Dennis Patrick as president of its

AOL Wireless



, the Internet company that allows consumers to bid on everything from T-bone steaks to airplane tickets, said it named Heidi Miller as chief financial officer. Miller, who was formerly chief financial officer at



, will also join the priceline board of directors and become senior vice president, strategic planning and administration. Now if she could only do something about those


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

As originally published, this story contained an error. Please see

Corrections and Clarifications.