Shares of hotly anticipated IPO Buy.com (BUYX) were on a spree, flying 13 1/2, or 103.8%, to 26 1/2 after Merrill Lynch priced 14 million shares above-range at $13 last night.

For more on Buy.com, take a look at the

story written this morning by

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com's

joint newsroom.

Reuters Group

(RTRSY)

was also on fire, gaining 20 1/2, or 20.7%, to 120 1/2 after it announced an $802 million plan to move its core business to the Internet, a board shake-up and a 9% rise in 1999 pretax profit. The company also unveiled plans for a new consumer finance portal and joint venture portal aimed at European private investors. An IPO for the group's U.S.-based electronic brokerage unit,

Instinet

, is also under consideration. In addition, CEO Peter Job said

Instinet

had agreed with

W.R. Hambrecht

to extend an IPO auction service to Europe.

For more on Reuters, take a look at the swell

story written this morning by

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com's

joint newsroom.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

Brocade Communications

(BRCD)

jumped 7 1/16 to 187 1/8 after it said that

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

would use Brocade's Silkworm switches in its data storage networks project. Hewlett-Packard fell 3 3/8 to 125 1/8.

CMGI

(CMGI)

gained 4 5/8 to 124 5/8 after it said it would receive a 5.4% interest in

Kana

(KANA)

due to Kana's $4.2 billion purchase of CMGI's minority investment in

Silknet

(SILK) - Get Report

. Shares of Kana dropped 9 1/2 to 231 1/2, while Silknet lost 5 1/2 to 178.

Hubbell

(HUBB) - Get Report

gained 9/16 to 26 3/4 after it said it entered a deal to sell its Wavepacer digital subscriber product line assets to

ECI Telecom

(ECIL)

. ECI Telecom rose 3/16 to 28 9/16

Phone.com

(PHCM)

lost 1 9/16 to 137 1/16 after it said it has agreed to purchase Britain-based

Paragon Software

in a deal valued at $500 million. According to the terms, Paragon shareholders would receive roughly 3.6 million shares of Phone.com and $7.5 million in cash.

Mexico-based

Telmex

(TMX)

lost 5/8 to 69 and

SBC Communications

(SBC)

rose 7/8 to 42 3/4 after the companies said they would invest $150 million in

Network Access Solutions

(NASC)

. In exchange, Network Access would offer its services to Telmex and SBC users. Shares of Network Access gained 7/8 to 35 13/16.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(

Earnings estimates from First Call/Thomson Financial; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified.

)

Aetna

(AET)

dropped 7 15/16, or 14.2%, to 47 13/16 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of $1.18 a share. The report edged out the 18-analyst estimate of $1.10, but some Wall Street analysts are punishing the stock, on concerns that capital gains pushed the report passed the consensus number.

Goldman Sachs

sliced its rating on the stock to market performer from market outperformer.

Cognizant

(CTSH) - Get Report

gained 5 1/4 to 115 1/4 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of 31 cents a share, a penny better than the four-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 27-cent profit.

Lincare Holdings

(LNCR)

lost 4 1/4, or 11.4%, to 32 7/8 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of 47 cents a share, in line with the six-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 40 cents.

Navigant International

(FLYR)

rose 9/16 , or 5.8%, to 10 5/16 after posting fourth-quarter earnings of 10 cents a share, in line with the two-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago loss of 5 cents.

Nike

(NKE) - Get Report

dropped 8 3/8, or 18.5%, to 36 7/8 after it warned investors that its fiscal 2000 earnings could fall slightly below the 17-analyst estimate of $2.08 and that it could have softer sales growth for U.S. footwear in 2001. Nike also cited the U.S. dollar strength against the Euro as a potential source of gross margin pressures.

StaffMark

(STAF) - Get Report

lost 17/32, or 6.1%, to 8 3/16 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings of 18 cents a share, missing the eight-analyst estimate of 19 cents and down from the year-ago 41 cents.

Offerings and stock actions

ING Barings

priced a 4 million-share IPO for

Fastnet

(FSST)

at $12 a share. Shares were popping 8 1/2, or 70.8%, to 20 1/2.

Network Solutions

(NSOL)

dropped 2 5/8 to 246 7/8 after it said it set a 7.73 million-share secondary offering at $247 a share.

Analyst actions

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

initiated coverage of

About.com

(BOUT) - Get Report

with a strong buy rating. Shares of About.com were popping 3 5/16 to 71 1/4.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown downgraded

America Online

(AOL)

to buy from strong buy. Shares of AOL were lifting 1 5/8 to 58 11/16.

Credit Suisse First Boston

reinstated coverage of

Amtel

(ATML)

with a buy rating and a price target of 50. Shares of Amtel were declining 13/16 to 39 1/2.

Goldman Sachs

initiated coverage of

BP Amoco

(BPA)

on its European recommended list. Shares of BP Amoco were falling 11/16 to 47 13/16.

Salomon Smith Barney

raised its fiscal 2000 EPS estimates on

Cox Radio

(CXR)

to $2.38 from $2.30 a share and upped its price target to 100 from 80. Shares of Cox Radio were adding 2 to 87 1/2.

Warburg Dillon Read

sliced its rating in

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

to hold from buy. Shares of Dell were shedding 2 5/16, or 6.1%, to 35 5/16.

CSFB reinstated coverage of

Efficient Networks

(EFNT)

with a buy rating and a price target of 130. Shares of Efficient were jumping 4 1/4 to 102 3/4.

Merrill Lynch

reinstated coverage of

Equant

(ENT) - Get Report

intermediate-term accumulate, long-term buy. Shares of Equant were slipping 2 5/8 to 120 3/8.

Warburg Dillon Read

upped its rating on

Elan

(ELN)

to buy from hold. Shares of Elan were tacking on 2 7/16, or 7.6%, to 34 1/8.

Warburg Dillon Read rolled out coverage of

Fogdog

(FOGD)

with a buy rating and set a price target of 23. Shares of Fogdog were moving up 13/16, or 7.6%, to 11 3/8.

Warburg Dillon Read initiated coverage of

Orthodontic Centers

(OCA)

with a strong buy rating. Shares of Orthodontic Centers were retreating 1/8 to 16 13/16.

CSFB analyst Wendell Laidley said he feels that

Portal Software

(PRSF)

will post fourth-quarter earnings that surpass his 4 cent estimate. Shares of Portal Software were bouncing 6 15/16, or 12.3%, to 63 1/4.

Salomon Smith Barney upgraded

Pepsico

(PEP) - Get Report

to buy from outperform. Shares of Pepsico were climbing 3/4 to 33 1/8.

J.P. Morgan

started coverage of

Red Hat

(RHAT)

with a long buy rating. Shares of Red Hat were shooting up 4 1/8 to 92 3/4.

Goldman rolled out coverage of

Total Fina

(TOT) - Get Report

on its recommended list. Shares of Total Fina were leaping 3 7/16, or 5.1%, to 69 15/16.

Salomon Smith Barney upgraded

Willamette Industries

(WLL) - Get Report

to outperform from neutral. Shares of Willamette Industries were lifting 1 1/16 to 37 3/4.

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

rolled out coverage of

Veritas

(VTS)

with a buy rating. Shares of Veritas were gaining 1 5/16, or 8.1%, to 17 3/8.

Miscellany

Christie's

dropped its auction commissions, sparking a possible price war with rival

Sotheby's

(BID) - Get Report

,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. According to the

Journal

, Christie's decision to cut the commissions would make art more expensive to buy and cheaper to sell. Shares of Sotheby's were tacking on 1/8 to 19 7/8.

The tobacco industry is expected to be hit with another class-action lawsuit claiming that major U.S. cigarette companies have illegally fixed prices since the 1980s,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. According to the

Journal

,

Philip Morris

(MO) - Get Report

,

R.J. Reynolds

(RJR)

,

Brown & Williamson

,

Lorillard

and

Liggett

are expected to be named in the proceedings.

Lately, shares of Philip Morris were declining 15/16 to 19 5/8, while RJ Reynolds were falling 11/16 to 17 15/16.

Shares of Lorillard parent

Loews

(LTR)

were sliding 2 5/8 to 54 3/8, while

Brooke Group

(BGL)

, the parent company of Liggett were losing 7/16 to 16 1/8.