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Qwest

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confirmed that it was negotiating with a large telecom carrier,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. Qwest said any agreement would be made in conjunction with its planned merger partner,

U S West

(USW)

. Last week, media outlets reported that Qwest was in talks with

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Free Report

.

Elan

(ELN)

, an Irish pharmaceutical firm, is buying

Liposome

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. Under terms of the deal, Liposome shareholders will receive 0.3850 of an Elan American Depository Share for each share of Liposome stock they own, or $15.28 a share, based on Elan's closing price Friday, for an aggregate amount of $575 million. Liposome, a biopharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and markets therapeutic products to treat cancer and related diseases, closed Friday at 14 3/8. Also, Elan may make a cash payment to Liposome shareholders of up to $98 million, contingent in part on the approval of

Evacet

by the

European Union

, and in part on Evacet reaching certain sales milestones outside the U.S.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Hain Food

(HAIN) - Get Free Report

said it has entered a $390 million stock deal to buy

Celestial Seasonings

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.

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Free Report

said it was awarded a $6.4 billion contract to supply the United Arab Emirates with 80 F-16 fighter jets, reported

The Wall Street Journal

.

MGM Grand

(MGG)

and

Mirage

(MIR)

talked about a takeover offer that would value Mirage at $21 a share, as reported in

The Wall Street Journal

. Last week, Mirage rejected a $17 a share offer from MGM Grand. The

Journal

reported that

Harrah's

(HET)

has retained investment bankers at

Deutsche Bank

to review a possible merger with Mirage.

Nortel Networks

(NT)

and

Koor

said they agreed to a deal to set up

Nortel Networks Israel

.

Telewest

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said it has entered a joint venture with

Andersen Consulting

to create interactive broadband communication services. The company would focus on interactive TV on the Web, music pay per view and ebanking.

VS&A Communications Partners III

, a private equity affiliate of New York media merchant bank

Veronis, Suhler & Associates

, is buying

Data Transmission Network

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for $29 a share in cash.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Circuit City

(CC) - Get Free Report

expects to post fiscal 2000 earnings of $1.60 a share, beating the 19-analyst estimate of $1.57.

LCA-Vision

(LCAV)

expects first-quarter laser vision correction procedures to be at least 20% higher than the 8541 it did in the fourth quarter and 40% higher than the year-ago period.

United Natural Foods

(UNFI) - Get Free Report

posted a second-quarter loss of 7 cents a share, wider than the six-analyst estimate of a 5-cent loss.

Offerings and stock actions

China.com

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set a 2-for-1 stock split.

CVS

(CVS) - Get Free Report

said it will buy back up to $1 billion of its stock.

Dow Chemical

(DOW) - Get Free Report

plans a future 3-for-1 stock split, pending shareholder approval to authorize additional shares in proportion to the planned stock split. Dow said the proposal isn't related to Dow's pending merger with

Union Carbide

(UK)

.

Analyst actions

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray

raised

Dell's

(DELL) - Get Free Report

price target to 65 from 55.

Lehman Brothers

upgraded financial services company

Franklin Resources

(BEN) - Get Free Report

to buy from outperform.

Lehman downgraded railroad company

Kansas City Southern

(KSU) - Get Free Report

to outperform from buy.

Lehman upped

KLA-Tencor's

(KLAC) - Get Free Report

price target to 110 form 70.

Lehman initiated coverage on

Network Peripherals

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, a manufacturer of ethernet and gigabit ethernet switching products, as a buy with a 90 price target.

Credit Suisse First Boston

analyst Charlie Glavin upped chipmaker

PMC-Sierra's

(PMCS)

price target to 250.

CSFB analyst James Parmalee raised

Scientific-Atlanta's

(SFA)

fiscal third-quarter earnings estimate to 41 cents per share from 40 cents and fourth-quarter estimates to 46 cents a share from 44 cents. The firm also raised estimates for fiscal 2001 to $1.80 from $1.75.

Bear Stearns

analyst Robert Fagin initiated coverage of

Vicinity

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, an Internet-based marketing firm, with a buy rating and a 12-month to 18-month price target of 80. Bear Stearns has done investment banking work for the company.

Miscellany

Ingram Micro

(IM)

said it tapped Kent Foster as its president and CEO.

Red Hat

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has named former

Adobe

(ADBE) - Get Free Report

exec Harold Covert as its CFO.

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