Yahoo! (YHOO) was gaining 6 5/16 to 197 5/16 and eBay (EBAY) - Get Report soared 24 5/16, or 10.9%, to a record 247 7/8 after the Financial Times reported the two companies have resumed merger talks. Earlier this month it was revealed the two companies had been talking, however, 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.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

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 gained 1 1/16 to 46 3/16, rose 5/8 to 17 11/16, Raytheon slipped 3/16 to 19 9/16, Commerce One popped 14 3/8, or 7%, to 218 7/8.

Courtaulds Textiles

agreed to be bought by

Sara Lee

(SLE)

for $238 million, after Sara Lee sweetened its takeover offer. Sara Lee rose 9/16 to 18 9/16.

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 added 3/8 to 67 7/16.

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. Ford rose 1/8 to 44 5/8 while General Motors fell 2 3/16 to 84 13/16.

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.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(

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

)

Eidos

(EIDSY)

, a publisher and developer of entertainment software, dropped 3 15/16, or 38.9%, to 6 3/16 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 3/4 to 26 1/2 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.

Xircom

(XIRC)

shed 5 1/4, or 12.8%, to 35 3/4 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.

For more on this

story, check out the coverage from

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com's

joint newsroom.

Wit Capital

(WITC)

gained 4 1/8, or 25%, to 20 11/16 after saying 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)

was slipping 13/16 to 8 27/32 after its 20 million-share IPO was priced midrange at $9 a share by

Credit Suisse First Boston

.

ePrise

(EPRS)

was jumping 9 1/4, or, 51.7%, to 24 1/2 after its 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.

Intermune Pharmaceuticals

(ITMN)

was jumping 6 1/4, or 30.6%, to 26 1/4 after it was 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)

was rising 1 15/16 to 83 1/16 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

. AT&T rose 1 1/4 to 58 1/2.

Viasystems

(VG) - Get Report

was inching up 1/16 to 21 1/16 after it was priced at $21 a share, above the estimated range of $16-$19. Lead underwriter

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

priced 44 million shares. The St. Louis-based company provides electronic manufacturing services mainly to the telecommunications and networking industries.

Virata

(VRTA)

gained 2 11/16 to 174 13/16 after its 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.

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.

Analyst actions

Dow component

Johnson & Johnson's

(JNJ) - Get Report

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.

AMC Entertainment

(AEN)

,

Carmike Cinemas

(CKE)

and

Loews Cineplex

(LCP)

were all downgraded to neutral from attractive by Marina Jacobson at

Bear Stearns

. AMC was slipping 1/16 to 5 1/4, Carmike lost 1/8 to 6 3/4 and Loews was unchanged at 3 7/8.

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 was down 21/64 to 37 5/8, Delco Remy was inching up 5/16 to 7 1/8, Decoma was rising 11/32, or 5.1%, to 7 1/8, Johnson Controls was edging up 1/8 to 55 3/4, Lear was unchanged at 27, Magna was slipping 3/8 to 40 3/8, Tower Automotive was rising 5/16 to 15 7/16, Arvin was rising 1/4 to 21 3/4, Dana was up 9/16 to 26 3/4, Delphi was down 21/128 to 15 9/16, Federal-Mogul was down 5/16 to 13 1/8 and Superior was losing 5/8 to 29 9/16.

Aegon

(AEG) - Get Report

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

HSBC

.

American Service Group

(ASGR)

unchanged at 14 1/16: coverage INITIATED with a buy rating and a 12-month price target of 20 at

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

.

Ameritrade

(AMTD) - Get Report

lifting 2, or 9.1%, to 23 15/16: second-quarter EPS UP to a loss of 4 cents from a loss of 14 cents at

U.S.Bancorp Piper Jaffray

.

Carlton Communications

(CCTVY)

popping 5, or 8.9%, to 61 1/2 : rating UP to intermediate-term buy from accumulate at Merrill Lynch.

Ciena

(CIEN) - Get Report

climbing 9 7/8, or 6.4%, to 164 9/16: UP to strong buy from accumulate at

Prudential Securities

.

E*Trade

(EGRP)

rising 4, or 4.3%, to 31 7/8: second-quarter EPS UP to a loss of 15 cents from a loss of 21 cents at U.S. Bancorp.

Nanogen

(NGEN)

losing 3 5/8, or 8.1%, to 41 1/8: coverage INITIATED with an outperform rating and a 12-month price target of 68 at

Lehman Brothers

.

PurchasePro.com

(PPRO)

losing 2 7/16 to 121: 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)

popping 16 3/16, or 11.3%, to 159 3/4: price target UP to 180 from 100 at U.S. Bancorp.

Ryerson Tull

(RT)

losing 9/16 to 15 5/16: coverage INITIATED with a buy rating at J.P. Morgan.

Sherwin-Williams

(SHW) - Get Report

gaining 3/16 to 22 1/8: rating UP to buy from market perform at

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

.

TibcoSoftware

(TIBX)

popping 14, or 11.9%, to 132: 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)

rising 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)

gained 1 1/4 to 96 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)

rose 2 1/4, or 6.4%, to 37 5/8 after 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.