(Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified. New highs and lows on a closing basis unless otherwise specified.)

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

gained 3 to 194 and

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

soared 20 3/16, or 9%, to 243 3/4 after the

Financial Times

reported that the companies have resumed merger talks. Earlier this month it was revealed the two companies had been talking but the talks fell apart, the

FT

noted.

On Thursday night, Yahoo! and eBay declined to comment, but people close to Yahoo! and eBay confirmed that merger talks had begun again, the

FT

said. The

FT

said the Internet powerhouses are also talking about a looser alliance and the people close to the companies warned it was far from certain that the talks would lead to a deal of any description.

Four IPOs debuted today with very mixed results. See Offerings and stock actions below.

Led by

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

, the four largest aerospace and defense companies are near a deal to form a single Internet business-to-business venture,

The Wall Street Journal

reported, citing people familiar with the transaction. In addition to Boeing, the B2B venture would include

Lockheed Martin

(LMT) - Get Report

,

Raytheon

(RTN.A)

,

BAE Systems

of Britain, along with Web-site technology developed by

Commerce One

(CMRC)

. Boeing added 7/8 to 36, Lockheed Martin rose 7/16 to 17 1/2, Raytheon slipped 1/2 to 19 1/4 and Commerce One hopped 18 11/16, or 9.1%, to 223 11/16.

Courtaulds Textiles

agreed to be bought by

Sara Lee

(SLE)

for $238 million, after Sara Lee sweetened its takeover offer. Sara Lee climbed 1/2 to 18 1/2.

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

is expected to announce a deal on Monday giving it a controlling stake in Japan's

Mitsubishi

, a DaimlerChrysler supervisory board source, told

Reuters

. DaimlerChrysler gained 7/16 to 67 1/2.

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

is mulling a possible bid to take over

Land Rover

, which would trump a nearly $3 billion offer already made by

Ford

(F) - Get Report

for the British company, a unit of Germany's

BMW

, the

Financial Times

reported. GM lost 1 5/8 to 85 3/8 while Ford gained 3/16 to 44 11/16.

Last week, Ford said it reached a memorandum of understanding to buy Land Rover from BMW. The

FT

reported that senior execs, led by

GM Europe's

Mike Burns, are exploring whether or not the memorandum of understanding signed by BMW and Ford could be challenged by a rival approach.

Seperately, Ford said the company is on track to meet its first-quarter estimates. The current 13-analyst estimate calls for earnings of $1.58 a share.

Telescan

(TSCN)

tacked on 3/8 to 22 after it raised its stake in

Globalnetfinancial.com

(GLBN)

to 15%. Globalnetfinancial lost 1 1/4 to 35 3/4.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Xircom

(XIRC)

dropped 4 3/16, or 10.2%, to 36 13/16 after it warned second-quarter earnings, excluding items, will come in between 30 cents and 35 cents a share, far below the eight-analyst estimate of 56 cents.

Alliance Capital

(AC) - Get Report

slipped 7/16 to 42 7/16 after it said it would post a 12 cents a share gain in the first quarter as the result of a settlement of a class action suit.

Eidos

(EIDSY)

, a publisher and developer of entertainment software, fell 4, to 39.5%, to 6 1/8 after it warned that its second-half operating earnings for its financial year ending March 31 will be "significantly worse" than the second half of the year-ago period and results for this year will be "substantially below" last year's.

KeySpan Energy

(KSE)

added 5/8 to 26 3/8 after it said earnings are "significantly ahead" of Wall Street estimates for the first quarter and could be up to 7% higher for 2000. The five-analyst estimate calls for the company to earn $1.04 a share in the first quarter. The 12-analyst estimate calls for the company to earn $1.87 a share for the entire year.

U.S. Steel

(X) - Get Report

fell 1/4 to 23 1/16 after it said it would require all steel-related assets of Slovakia's troubled steel maker

VSZ

.

Wit Capital

(WITC)

climbed 4 7/8, or 29.4%, to 21 7/16 after it said it expects to report its first profitable quarter when it reports its first-quarter results. Wit anticipates revenue will exceed $85 million, above analyst estimates which it said range from $47.6 million to $54.0 million. The two-analyst estimate calls for the company to lose 5 cents a share in the first quarter. Wit said it expects to report earnings the week of April 17.

For more, check out

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom's

story on the Wit announcement.

Offerings and stock actions

eMachines'

(EEEE)

20 million-share IPO was priced midrange at $9 a share by

Credit Suisse First Boston

. eMachines lost 3/4, or 8.3%, to 8 1/4.

Eprise's

(EPRS)

4 million-share IPO was priced above-range at $15 a share by

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

. The initial price range was $8-$10 a share, which was then raised to $12-$14. Eprise jumped 10 1/4, or 68.3%, to 25 1/4.

Intermune Pharmaceuticals

(ITMN)

popped 5, or 25%, to 25 after it priced at $20 a share, above the estimated $17-to-$19 range. Warburg Dillon Read priced 6.25 million shares. The company makes products for the treatment of pulmonary and infectious diseases as well as congenital disorders.

MediaOne Group

(UMG)

added 1 13/16 to 82 15/16 after it said it is preparing to sell 14 million shares of its

Time Warner Telecom

(TWTC)

stock. The total shares to be offered will be 15.3 million, including the underwriters' over-allotment option, which represents all of MediaOne's interests in Time Warner Telecom. MediaOne is shedding its Time Warner Telecom interests in order to get the go-ahead for its proposed merger with

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

. Time Warner Telecom dropped 5 1/16, or 6.6%, to 70 15/16 while AT&T tacked on 1 1/2 to to 58 3/4.

Viasystems'

(VG) - Get Report

44 million-share IPO was priced above-range at $21 a share by

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

. The estimated price range was $16-$19 a share. Viasystems dropped 1 3/4, or 8.3%, to 19 1/4.

Virata's

(VRTA)

board approved a 2-for-1 stock split and an increase in the number of authorized shares of common stock to 450 million from 40 million. Shares dropped 2 1/8 to 170.

Silicon Laboratories'

(SLAB) - Get Report

3.2 million-share IPO was priced by Morgan Stanley above-range at $31 a share. The original price range was $21 to $23 a share, which was then raised to $25-$27 a share. Silicon Laboratories soared 38 3/8, or 123.7%, to 69 3/8.

Analyst actions

AMC Entertainment

(AEN)

,

Carmike Cinemas

(CKE)

and

Loews Cineplex

(LCP)

were all downgraded to neutral from attractive by Marina Jacobson at

Bear Stearns

. AMC Entertainment slipped 1/8 to 5 3/16 while Carmike Cinemas lost 11/16 to 6 3/16 and Loews lost 1/16 to 3 13/16.

Dow component

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

sank 7 1/2, or 9.4%, to 72 1/2 after its rating was sliced to market perform from buy at

J.P. Morgan

.

Goldman Sachs

cut its 2000 EPS view to $3.36 from $3.38, while

Merrill Lynch

cut the stock to near-term accumulate from buy.

SG Cowen

cut the stock to buy from strong buy. Yesterday, the company said it would stop U.S. marketing its prescription heartburn drug Propulsid after reports of serious cardiovascular side effects.

For more on this

story, see separate coverage from

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com's

joint newsroom.

Credit Suisse First Boston

analyst Ronald Tadross initiated coverage of the auto parts industry with a strong buy rating on

Gentex

(GNTX) - Get Report

, buy ratings on

Delco Remy

(RMY)

,

Decoma

(DECAF)

,

Johnson Controls

(JCI) - Get Report

,

Lear

(LEA) - Get Report

,

Magna

(MGA) - Get Report

and

Tower Automotive

(TWR)

, and hold ratings on

Arvin Industries

(ARV)

,

Dana

(DCN)

,

Delphi Automotive

(DPH)

,

Federal-Mogul

(FMO) - Get Report

and

Superior

(SUP) - Get Report

.

Gentex dropped 25/64 to 37 9/16, Delco Remy climbed 1/4 to 7 1/16, Decoma inched up 3/32 to 6 7/8, Johnson Controls lost 2 1/8 to 53 1/2, Lear lost 5/16 to 26 11/16, Magna moved down 7/16 to 40 5/16, Tower tacked on 3/16 to 15 5/16, Delphi lost 0.3% to 15 11/16, Federal Mogul lost 9/16 to 12 7/8 and Superior slipped 5/16 to 29 7/8.

Aegon

(AEG) - Get Report

inched up 1/16 to 79 1/4: rating UP to hold from reduce at

HSBC

.

American Service Group

(ASGR)

added 1/2 to 13 3/4: coverage INITIATED with a buy rating and a 12-month price target of 20 at

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

.

Ameritrade

(AMTD) - Get Report

added 2 5/16, or 10.5%, to 24 1/4: second quarter EPS UP to a loss of 4 cents from a loss of 14 cents at

U.S.Bancorp Piper Jaffrey

.

Carlton Communications

(CCTVY)

climbed 5, or 8.9%, to 61 1/12: rating UP to intermediate-term buy from accumulate at

Merrill Lynch

.

Ciena

(CIEN) - Get Report

jumped 7 11/16, or 5%, to 162 3/8: UP to strong buy from accumulate at

Prudential Securities

.

E*Trade

(EGRP)

gained 4 1/8, or 14.8%, to 32: second-quarter EPS UP to a loss of 15 cents from a loss of 21 cents at

U.S. Bancorp

.

Lehman Brothers

(LEH)

lifted 3 11/16 to 105 7/16: price target UP to 130 from 105 at

Salomon Smith Barney

.

Nanogen

(NGEN)

dropped 4 55/64, or 10.9%, to 39 57/64 : coverage INITIATED with an outperform rating and a 12-month price target of 68 at

Lehman Brothers

.

PurchasePro.com

(PPRO)

dropped 3 15/16 to 119 1/2: earnings estimates DOWN for 2000 to a loss of $1.74 from a loss of 92 cents and for 2001 to a loss of $1.62 from a loss of 63 cents at

Bear Stearns

.

Powerwave Technologies

(PWAV)

hopped 15 5/16, or 10.7%, to 158 7/8: price target UP to 180 from 100 at

U.S. Bancorp

.

Ryerson Tull

(RT)

lost 7/8, or 5.5%, to 15: coverage INITIATED with a buy rating at

J.P. Morgan

.

Sherwin-Williams

(SHW) - Get Report

climbed 3/8 to 22 5/16: rating UP to buy from market perform at

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

.

Tibco Software

(TIBX)

jumped 11 7/16, or 9.7%, to 129 7/16: coverage REINSTATED with a strong buy rating at

Alex. Brown

; 2000 EPS UP to profit of 4 cents from a loss of 1 cent at

Goldman

.

Weirton Steel

(WS)

gained 13/16, or 9.6%, to 9 1/4: coverage INITIATED with a buy rating at

J.P. Morgan

.

Miscellany

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

(MWD)

moved up 1 1/16 to a record 95 13/16 after it announced the birth of the

Morgan Stanley Internet Index

. The index will be published on the

American Stock Exchange

beginning today under the ticker symbol MOX. Options on the index will begin trading by April 10. The index initially will comprise 28 large-capitalization Internet stocks drawn from nine Net subsectors: infrastructure services; infrastructure; consulting/services; portals; vertical portals; commerce; Internet/B2B software; B2B commerce; and multisector Net companies. Morgan Stanley said the number and types of companies in the MOX will change as Net-related businesses evolve.

Wave Systems

(WAVX)

moved up 1 1/4 to 36 5/8 after it said it named Steven Sprague, Wave's president and COO to the added position of CEO. Sprague assumes the CEO role from his father, Wave founder Peter Sprague, who will continue to serve as chairman.

The Inside Wall Street column in

Business Week

written as usual by Gene Marcial, reports that

Wit Capital

(WITC)

is expected to take an equity stake of up to 5% in

United Retail Group's

(URGI)

Shop-At-Home

unit. Also, the column quoted an unidentified investor as saying that "United could end up merging with a larger company." United and Wit declined to comment, the column reported.

The column also includes bullish items on

Ibis Technology

(IBIS)

and on

Charles Schwab

(SCH)

. Bernie Schaeffer, head of

Schaeffer's Investment Research

, says Schwab could be a takeover target for a big financial-services concern, the column said.