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America Online (AOL) was sliding 3 7/16, or 6%, to 55 3/8 and AMR (AMR) was inching up 3/8 to 54 1/4 after its American Airlines unit and AOL said they would offer AOL AAdvantage, a combined rewards program. The three-year deal combines the airline's miles program with AOL's Reward program and calls for the companies to launch a multi-million dollar, cross-marketing campaign to their members. AOL will take a stake in Netcentives (NCNT) , which will create and operate the infrastructure for the new plan. Netcentives hopped 4, or 6.5%, to 65 7/8.


(HSY) - Get Hershey Company Report

shares were enjoying a sweet trading session, rising 3 7/8, or 10.3%, to 41 5/8 after posting better than expected fourth-quarter earnings. For more on the company's results, check out the's

earnings coverage below.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

AIT Group

has agreed to provide e-commerce infrastructure to

General Electric

(GE) - Get General Electric Company Report

that will allow GE customers to access their accounts and carry out financial transactions via the Internet. AIT and

GE Equity Investments

signed a three-year option agreement under which AIT will transfer up to 608,800 shares, or just under 3% of current shares, to GE company. GE inched up 11/16 to 134 11/16.

(AMZN) - Get, Inc. Report

fell 2 to 59 11/16 after it said it will buy 5% of

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TheStreet Recommends



in a deal valued at $18.3 million. Shares of Audible added 1 1/4, or 8.7%, to 15 3/4.

El Paso Energy


inched up 1/16 to 31 5/16 after it said it agreed to buy the natural gas and natural gas liquids businesses owned by


(PCG) - Get PG&E Corporation Report

for $840 million, including $561 million in debt. PG&E gained 5/16 to 21 3/8.



popped 3 7/8, or 6.4%, to 64 1/16 after it signed a three-year contract to use

Sycamore Networks'


products. Shares of Sycamore were sliding 18 3/8, or 5.9%, to 291 1/2.

General Motors gained 1 9/16 to 80 9/16 after

The Wall Street Journal

reported it is close to a deal with


(TM) - Get Toyota Motor Corp. Report

to offer GM's Onstar in-car communications system in Toyotas sold in the United States.

Shares of Toyota climbed 13/16 to 86 13/16. Separately,

Investor AB

, the investment arm of Sweden's Wallberg family, said GM is paying $125 million to exercise its option to buy the group's 50% stake of Swedish auto group

Saab Automobile


British palm-top computer group


said it signed an agreement with



to co-develop a range of mobile Internet access devices. Shares of Motorola climbed 7 3/4 to 136.

Royal Bank of Scotland

raised its offer for

National Westminster Bank


, increasing the cash element of its bid and putting pressure on rival bidder

Bank of Scotland

to respond. NatWest responded to the revised offer by calling it a "bit of damp squib", (apparently slang for a firework that didn't go off) and saying it was still risky.

Apparently undeterred by that cutting remark, Royal Bank of Scotland said it expected NatWest to recommend its takeover bid if a Feb. 14 vote on its offer is split and Royal Bank has the highest proportion of votes. Shares of NatWest popped 5 7/8, or 5.3%, to 115 7/8.

Vodafone AirTouch's

(VOD) - Get Vodafone Group Plc Report

campaign to win over the hearts of



shareholders escalated another notch, as the British-U.S. phone operator announced a joint venture with France's



. Vodafone was slipping 1/4 to 54 3/8.

The two plan to create a European Web portal that would rival




AOL Europe

, a joint venture between America Online and


. They will also look at joining to form a pan-European telephone network. Shares of Yahoo! were falling 8 1/8 to 305 7/16.

But the alliance is contingent upon Vodafone winning control of Mannesmann, Germany's leading wireless company, which has repeatedly spurned Vodafone's advances.

Mannesmann brass remained opposed to Vodafone's $170 billion hostile takeover bid Sunday; investors have until Feb. 7 to decide. According to

The Wall Street Journal

, the move comes as Vodafone AirTouch and Mannesman have held stepped-up talks, although the two companies remain far apart on issues such as price, the story said, citing people familiar with the situation.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews


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


Century Business


dropped 2 31/32, or 343.2%, to 3 31/32 after it warned its fourth-quarter results are expected to fall short of expectations as a result of a focus on strategic alternatives that it is ending. The company expects to report results between a profit of 2 cents a share and a loss of 2 cents a share, below the five-analyst estimate of earnings of 13 cents a share.

Merrill Lynch

cut its rating on Century Business to near-term neutral from buy.


(DLX) - Get Deluxe Corporation Report

climbed 15/16 to 27 1/8 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings of 79 cents a share, ahead of the five-analyst forecast of 74 cents and the year-ago 71 cents.

Deluxe confirmed it will separate its e-commerce and technology services businesses into a new company. A minority stake in the new company, to be called


, will be sold to the public through an IPO.

W.W. Grainger

(GWW) - Get W.W. Grainger, Inc. Report

gained 1 1/8 to 49 1/4 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of 30 cents a share, in line with the 11-analyst estimate but down from the year-ago 69 cents.

Medical Manager


lost 4 7/8, or 6.4%, to 72 after it reported second-quarter earnings of 2 cents a share, a penny better than the six-analyst forecast, but down from the year-ago earnings of 16 cents a share.

Millenium Chemicals


inched up 7/16 to 18 13/16 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings of 39 cents a share, beating the 12-analyst estimate of 24 cents and the year-ago 13 cents.

Triad Hospitals


slipped 7/16 to 16 1/2 after it said it will take a fourth-quarter charge due to its decision to close its medical center in Roseburg, Oregon.

Union Carbide


added 3/16 to 54 1/2 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings of 68 cents a share, blowing past the 11-analyst estimate of 46 cents and the year-ago 49 cents, which included a gain of 31 cents. The company attributed the increase in its earnings to continuing high volumes, improved pricing at its basic chemicals and polymers unit and strengthening performance by its



Polimeri Europa


Offerings and stock actions


(AVTR) - Get Avantor, Inc. Report

approved the repurchase of up to $20 million in common shares and notes. Shares of Avatar were edging up 9/16 to 16 5/16.

(INSP) - Get Inspire Medical Systems, Inc. Report

were declining 18 9/16, or 12.1%, to 133 5/8 after it set a 2-for-1 stock split.

Sara Lee


was adding 5/16 to 18 1/2 after it said it completed a $3 billion stock-repurchase program five months ahead of schedule and authorized the repurchase of up to an additional 50 million shares.

Thermo Electron

(TMO) - Get Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. Report

was popping 1, or 6.1%, to 17 1/4 after it said it has decided to split the company into three publicly traded businesses and spin off two of them to its shareholders.

Analyst actions

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

upped its rating on


(AT) - Get Atlantic Power Corporation Report

to strong buy from buy. Shares of Alltell were lifting 7/8 to 64 7/8.

Alex. Brown cut its rating on

Aviation Sales


to market perform from strong buy. Shares of Aviation Sales were sliding 3/4, or 7.6%, to 9.

Alex. Brown raised its rating on


(CCL) - Get Carnival Corporation Report

to strong buy from buy. Shares of Carnival was climbing 1/4 to 44 3/4.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

lifted its rating on


(CLS) - Get Celestica Inc. Report

to strong buy from outperform. Shares of Celestica were advancing 1/32 to 39 5/8.

Brown Brothers Harriman


Cooper Industries


to its focus list. Cooper's shares were bouncing 1/2 to 38 5/16.

Salomon Smith Barney

upped its rating on

Credence Systems


to a buy from outperform. Shares of Credence Systems were shedding 4 15/16, or 5.8%, to 79 11/16.

J.P. Morgan

sliced its rating on



to long-term buy from a buy rating. Shares of Dana were sliding 15/16 to 23 5/8.

Warburg Dillon Read

raised its rating on



to buy from hold .Morgan Stanley lifted its rating on the stock to outperform from neutral, while

Credit Suisse First Boston

upped its price target and reiterated a strong buy rating.

Lehman Brothers

increased its earnings estimates for 2000. Shares of Ericsson were climbing 1/8 to 70 1/4.

First Boston added


(INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report

to its focus list and reiterated a strong buy rating. Shares of Intel were lifting 5/8 to 93 3/8.

Goldman Sachs



(MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation Report

to its recommended list from market perform. Shares of McDonald's were advancing 3/4 to 37 1/2.

Merrill Lynch upped its rating on



to near-term accumulate from near-term neutral. Shares of Mead were skidding 1/2 to 36 7/8.

Lehman upgraded



to buy from outperform. Shares of Praxair were shedding 1/2 to 40 5/16.

Banc of America Securities

raised its price target on



to 85 from 50, while reiterating its strong buy rating. Shares of Sawtek were gaining 1 1/4 to 63.

Deutsche Banc started coverage of

SBA Communications

(SBAC) - Get SBA Communications Corp. Class A Report

with a buy rating. SBA Communications were losing 1 to 29 1/2.

Banc of America upped


(SBUX) - Get Starbucks Corporation Report

to buy from market performer. Shares of Starbucks were advancing 1 9/16, or 5.2%, to 31 7/16

Merrill upgraded

StarMedia Network

(STRM) - Get Streamline Health Solutions, Inc. Report

to near-term buy from accumulate. Shares of StarMedia were retreating 5/16 to 30.

SG Cowen

increased its rating on



to buy from neutral and set a 12-month price target of 60. Shares of 3Com were tacking on 1 13/16 to 48 7/16.

Deutsche Banc lowered its rating on



to buy from strong buy. Shares of Xeikon were sinking 13/16 to 15 13/16.


Baker Hughes


said CEO, chairman and president Max Lukens has resigned. The company named Joe Foster, chairman of

Newfield Exploration


, as an interim CEO, chairman and president.

Goldman Sachs

upped Baker Hughes to market outperform from market perform.

Meanwhile Newfield announced that Foster resigned to take the post at Baker Hughes and said it named David Trice as CEO effective Feb. 1. Shares of Baker Hughes were moving up 2 1/16, or 9.9%, to 22 7/8.

Micro Warehouse


said it named Jerome York as president, CEO and chairman.

Bridgeport Holdings

has taken control of Micro, the companies said. In December, Micro Warehouse said it would be acquired for $725 million by an investor group led by York, a former


(IBM) - Get International Business Machines Corporation Report

executive. Shares of Micro Warehouse were bouncing 3/4 to 18 7/8.

Waste Management


said it will sell its Finland operations for $100 million. Shares of Waste Management were declining 1/16 to 17 5/8.

The Heard on the Street column in

The Wall Street Journal

said shares of

Honeywell International

(HON) - Get Honeywell International Inc. Report

may be poised for a rebound later this year. The stock has fallen about 25% since Dec. 2, the first day shares of the newly merged Honeywell and


began trading. But if Honeywell can get past some weak numbers in its fourth-quarter earnings report, among other things, say some observers, the stocks could climb as high as 92 in 2001. Shares of Honeywell International mounting 1 13/16 to 47.

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

Corrections and Clarifications.