Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

was adding 13/16 to 43 3/16 after it said it would buy the space and communications business of

Hughes Electronics

(GMH)

for $3.75 billion. The deal boosts Boeing's satellite-based revenue by 35% and will open new business opportunities in government programs and air traffic control.

Hughes Electronics owner

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

said it would realize a pretax gain of about $2.2 billion from the sale, though the specific amount will be determined later.

PaineWebber

upped its price target on Hughes to 140 and reiterated its buy rating. Shares of Hughes Electronics were bouncing 5 1/8 to 115 5/8 and General Motors was gaining 1 7/8 to 78 1/4.

Chip giant

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

was soaring 12 7/16, or 13.6%, to 103 1/2 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of 69 cents a share,

beating the 31-analyst estimate of 63 cents and the year-ago 60 cents. The company cited stronger-than-expected demand in what is typically the PC industry's biggest quarter. Fourth-quarter revenue rose to a record $8.2 billion, up 8% from a year ago.

Intel said it sees first-quarter revenue slightly lower than fourth-quarter levels, citing seasonal factors. The company also said it expects 2000 research and development spending to total about $3.8 billion.

For more on Intel's earnings, see additional

coverage from the

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

wants to become the No. 1 automaker through acquisitions or partnerships,

The Wall Street Journal

reported. On Wednesday night, Chairman

Robert Eaton

told analysts that to do that, DaimlerChrysler will have to make one or two more deals with other automakers, either through partnerships or outright purchases, the newspaper reported, citing analysts who heard the presentation. DaimlerChrysler execs confirmed the company's in talks with

Honda Motor

,

Fiat

and

Peugeot Citroen

about potential alliances, the newspaper said. DaimlerChrysler was slipping 1 7/8 to 76 7/16.

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

was rising 5 7/16 to 183 7/16 after it signed a "memorandum of understanding" with

SOHU.com

and

Beijing Mobile Communications

under which the concerns will jointly develop mobile Internet services and applications for mobile phone users in China.

Drug giants

SmithKline Beecham

(SBH) - Get Report

and

Glaxo Wellcome

(GLX)

confirmed they are in merger talks. In a statement, the companies said that they are in talks "which may or may not lead to a merger of equals of the two companies."

The companies said they won't make any further comment or announcement "unless and until the discussions are concluded." Shares of SmithKline Beecham were lifting 2 5/16 to 69, while Glaxo Wellcome was moving up 1 15/16 to 59 15/16.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(

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

)

Briggs & Stratton

(BGG) - Get Report

was climbing 5/16 to 52 after it posted second-quarter earnings of $1.77 a share, well ahead of the three-analyst estimate of $1.38 a share and up from the year-ago $1.05.

Firstar

(FSR)

was sliding 1/16 to 23 5/16 after it reported fourth-quarter operating earnings of 33 cents a share, in line with the 22-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 28 cents.

First Union

was advancing 2 1/16, or 6%, to 36 1/8 after it posted fourth-quarter operating earnings of 86 cents a share, in line with the 28-analyst estimate but down from the year-ago $1.00.

Vail Resorts

(MTN) - Get Report

was falling 1 1/8, or 6.6%, to 15 13/16 after it warned it anticipates fiscal second-quarter and full-year earnings will fall below Wall Street expectations. Vail Resorts expects revenue -- after taking into account anticipated insurance recoveries -- to be in a range between $145 million and $160 million for the second quarter and operating earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization to be between $45 million and $50 million for the quarter.

Vail Resorts didn't offer earnings figures. The company also said skier days for the season through Jan. 12 fell about 9% from the year-ago period.

Analyst actions

Lehman Brothers

upped its fiscal 2000 earnings estimate on

Biogen

to $1.85 a share from $1.73 and raised its price target to 120 from 95 after last night's strong

fourth-quarter earnings report. Shares of Biogen were mounting 2 3/4 to 80 1/8.

Lehman Brothers

raised its price target on

Cymer

(CYMI)

to 65 from 60. Shares of Cymer were rising 2 to 56.

Merrill Lynch

was out with cautious comments on

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

. In a research note titled "Q4 Still Lacks Clarity," Merrill said that Dell's stock "has risen over the past couple of weeks for no apparent reason, in our view," and that while it believes "the company is well-positioned for continued long-term growth, we don't believe the recent move should be construed as meaning Q4 is without risk." Shares of Dell were gaining 2 1/16 to 45.

PaineWebber upped its fiscal 2000 earnings estimate on

Fannie Mae

to $4.25 a share from $4.00. Shares of Fannie Mae were adding 1 13/16 to 64.

Warburg Dillon Read

rolled out coverage of

Infonet

(IN)

with a strong buy rating and a price target of 40. Shares of Infonet were adding 1 1/8, or 5.6%, to 21 1/8.

Lehman Brothers rolled out coverage of

Juniper Networks

(JNPR) - Get Report

with a buy rating. Shares of Juniper Networks were jumping 22, or 7%, to 336 1/2.

Lehman raised its price target on

KLA-Tencor

(KLAC) - Get Report

to 140 from 120. Shares of KLA-Tencor were shooting up 9 1/16, or 7.5%, to 128 3/4.

Credit Suisse First Boston

upped its rating on

Land's End

(LE) - Get Report

to buy from hold, while

Goldman Sachs

upped its fiscal 2000 earnings estimate to $1.70 per share from $1.50. Shares of Land's End were bouncing 4 5/8, or 13.2%, to 39 1/2.

Dain Rauscher

upped its price target on

Medarex

(MEDX)

to 66 from 40. Shares of Medarex were lifting 2 5/8, or 6.1%, to 45 5/8.

Goldman Sachs raised its fiscal 2000 earnings estimate on

Visual Networks

(VNWK)

to 83 cents a share from 82 cents. Shares of Visual Networks were adding on 1 5/8 to 81 5/8.

Miscellany

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

announced that co-founder and chairman

Bill Gates

will relinquish his position as CEO and add the newly created title of chief software architect. The company said longtime No. 2

Steve Ballmer

, the software giant's president, will succeed Gates as CEO.

For more on the latest moves at Microsoft, check out a separate

story from the

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom. Shares of Microsoft were tacking on 2 13/16 to 110 9/16.

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

was advancing 5/16 to 65 7/16 after it said

David Glass

, the company's CEO and president, is stepping down effective immediately. The company said the 64-year-old Glass over the next year will stay with Wal-Mart full-time as chairman of the executive committee of Wal-Mart's board.

Lee Scott

, 50, who was named chief operating officer and vice chairman of Wal-Mart a year ago, will succeed Glass as CEO and president.

For more on the changes at Wal-Mart, check out a separate

story from the

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom.

The Inside Wall Street column in

Business Week

penned as usual by Gene Marcial, mentions that some pros say

YouthStream Media Networks

(NETS)

, which recently acquired

sixdegrees.com

, has become an attractive takeover target, perhaps for Rupert Murdoch's

News Corp.

(NWS) - Get Report

.

Since News Corp. is the largest investor in sixdegrees.com, it is now a big investor in YouthStream, the column notes. Media analyst Scott Barry of

Raymond James

is quoted in the column as saying that he "wouldn't be surprised if News Corp. increases its stake in YouthStream." Shares of YouthStream Media Networks were moving up 1 1/2, or 6%, to 26 5/8 and NewsCorp was climbing 1 9/16 to 47 1/16.

Elsewhere in the column,

Hauppauge Digital

(HAUP)

is mentioned as an acquisition target. The column quotes Joel Krasner of

FAC/Equities

as saying: "As the largest independent player in video products for PCs, Hauppauge is an attractive takeover prey." Shares of Hauppauge Digital were mounting 3 1/16, or 13.5%, to 25 5/16.

The column also reports on

Comdisco

(CDO)

, whose stock has been fire lately. The column says that the stock's been hot because some expect Comdisco to speed up the timing of the IPO it plans for its

Prism Communications

division to early March and that the company's tracking stock for its

Comdisco Ventures

unit, could come earlier than anticipated. Shares of Comdisco were rising 3/4 to 36 3/16.