Pfizer (PFE) - Get Report inched up 5/8 to 36 3/8 after it said it would acquire Warner-Lambert (WLA) for $90 billion. Shares of Warner-Lambert rose 5/8 to 36 3/8.

Warner-Lambert's board is expected today to favor the deal, which would form the largest U.S. pharmaceutical company. The latest agreement axed

American Home Products'

(AHP)

initial plans, announced in November, for a $58 billion merger with Warner-Lambert. American Home, which will collect a $1.8 billion break-up fee, was rising 2 to 47 1/2.

The Pfizer/Warner-Lambert union calls for Pfizer to pay 2.75 shares of its stock for every share of Warner-Lambert at 98.31 a share. According to sources, Warner-Lambert could receive up to nine of the 15 seats on Pfizer's board.

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

raised Pfizer to market performance from underperform and cut Warner-Lambert to market performance from buy. Separately,

Merrill Lynch

upgraded Pfizer to near-term buy from accumulate.

Shares of

Silknet

(SILK) - Get Report

were soaring 50 1/8, or 36.6%, to 187 1/8 after

Kana Communications

(KANA)

agreed to buy it in a stock swap worth $4.2 billion. Each outstanding share of Silknet common will be exchanged for 0.83 share of Kana common, which represents a 21% premium over the price of Silknet shares in the last 30 days. Kana was sliding 8 3/4 to 251.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

AOL Europe

, a joint venture between

America Online

(AOL)

and

Bertelsmann

, said it made a pact with

Ericsson

(ERICY)

and

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

to test and develop Internet-compatible mobile services. Shares of AOL fell 1 to 56 3/4, Ericsson inched up 5/16 to 86 5/16 and Nokia slipped 1/16 to 191 15/16. AOL Europe also said it would test its WAP gateway for Web-compatible cell phones and SMS messaging and Mail by Phone services with

RTS Wireless

.

Akamai Technologies

(AKAM) - Get Report

dropped 8 1/2 to 223 11/16 after it said it entered a $2.8 billion stock deal to acquire

InterVu

(ITVU)

. Shares of InterVu popped 7 1/2, or 6.4%, to 124 1/8. The deal, which values InterVu at $140 a share, calls for Akamai to issue 9.3 million shares for all outstanding shares of InterVu.

Corel

(CORL)

slipped 7/8 to 19 3/16 after it said it would buy

Inprise

(INPR)

in a $2.44 billion stock deal. Shares of Inprise rose 9/16 to 13 9/16. The terms call for Inprise shareholders to gain 44% control of Corel.

E*Trade

(EGRP)

and Softbank said they will set up a joint venture to launch E*Trade in South Korea. E*Trade rose 1 3/16, or 5.5%, to 23.

Go2Net

(GNET)

climbed 1/2 to 83 3/4 after it said it entered a three-year deal with

National Discount Brokers

(NDB)

, which would make NBD.com Go2Net's exclusive brokerage service. National Discount Brokers gained 1 7/16, or 6.1% to 25 1/4. According to the terms, Go2Net, along with Vulcan Ventures, would invest $30 million in National Discount Brokers with the purchase of 1 million shares of National Discount Brokers.

Go2Net said it would also get $7.5 million from NBD.com during the deal and its chairman and CEO Russell Horowitz would take a seat on the National Discount Brokers board.

Lucent

(LU)

lost 13/16 to 56 3/16 after it said it would purchase

Ortel

(ORTL)

for $2.95 billion in stock. Ortel shed 11 7/16, or 6.5%, to 166 1/16.

Phillips Petroleum

(P)

climbed 3/4 to 39 3/4 after it agreed to a 50/50 joint chemicals venture with

Chevron

(CHV)

, which would have combined assets of more than $6 billion. Chevron added 1 to 79 9/16.

Polo Ralph Lauren

(RL) - Get Report

jumped 1 1/2, or 10.6%, to 15 5/8 after it said it entered a 30-year joint venture with General Electric unit

NBC

and its two affiliates

ValueVision

(VVTV)

and

NBC Internet

(NBCI)

to form

Ralph Lauren Media

. The venture would sell Polo American products through broadcast, cable, print and the Web. GE lost 2 11/16 to 138 7/8, ValueVision lost 2 13/16, or 6.9%, to 38 1/16 and NBC Internet rose 1 5/16 to 73 1/4.

Reader's Digest

(RDA)

slipped 5/16 to 35 9/16 after it said it bought a 12% stake in

Chinas Markets

, a Hong Kong web company which operates financial and investment information sites.

GE Equity

, a unit of General Electric, is also a major investor, Reader's Digest said.

Rhythms NetConnections

(RTHM)

rose 2 15/16, or 8.4%, to 38 after it said it will receive $250 million in financing from investment firm

Hicks Muse Tate & Furst

and will use the funds to expand its network in the U.S. and increase its customer base.

Visual Networks

(VNWK)

dropped 12 7/8, or 20.3%, to 50 1/2 after it said it agreed to buy

Avesta Tech

in a stock deal valued at $415 million.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(

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

)

Azurix

(AZX)

lost 7/16 to 8 9/16 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings of 10 cents a share, in line with both the five-analyst estimate and the year-ago report.

AXA Financial

(AXF)

climbed 13/16 to 32 3/4 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of 71 cents a share, beating the 13-analyst estimate of 66 cents and up from the year-ago 37 cents.

Sykes Enterprises

(SYKE) - Get Report

lost 3 3/4, or 20.8%, to 14 1/4 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of 17 cents a share, missing the 11-analyst estimate of 21 cents and down from the year-ago 28 cents.

Williams Communications

(WCG) - Get Report

rose 1 5/8 to 39 13/16 after it reported a fourth-quarter loss of 16 cents a share, narrower than both the six-analyst estimate of a 26-cent loss and the year-ago 20-cent loss.

Offerings and stock actions

Aurora Biosciences

(ABSC)

popped 12 1/8, or 25%, to 60 3/8 after it said it agreed to sell 1.8 million shares at 42 a share through a private-placement offering.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown

raised its price target on the stock to 83 from 44.

First Sentinel

(FSLA)

rose 1/4 to 7 31/32 after it said it set a 3.8 million-share-repurchasing program.

Group 1 Software

(GSOF)

gained 1, or 5.3%, to 20 1/4 after it set a 3-for-2 stock split.

Analyst actions

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown raised its rating on

Albany Molecular

(AMRI)

to strong buy from buy. Shares of Albany Molecular were adding 1 5/8 to 46 7/8.

Credit Suisse First Boston

reinstated coverage of

Applied Micro Circuits

(AMCC)

as a strong buy and set a price target of 240. Shares of Applied Micro were soaring 13 1/4, or 7.1%, to 199 1/4.

Banc of America Securities

upped

Ariba's

(ARBA)

price target by $25 to 250.

First Boston raised its six-month price target on

Autodesk

(ADSK) - Get Report

to 46. Shares of Autodesk were lifting 2 1/8, or 6.5%, to 34 3/4.

J.P. Morgan

downgraded the rating of

Basin Exploration

(BSNX)

to market performer from buy. Shares of Basin Exploration were losing 2 11/16, or 24.8%, to 8 1/4.

Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Wendell Laidley said he is concerned about the implications of Karen Willem's resignation as CFO of

Brio Technology

(BRYO)

, although the business remains solid. Shares of Brio Technology were shedding 4 7/8, or 13.9%, to 30 1/2.

Warburg Dillon Read

upped its rating on

Covance

(CVD)

to buy from hold. Shares of Covance were adding 15/16, or 6.1%, to 16 1/8.

Banc of America upped its rating on

Digital Insight

(DGIN)

to strong buy from buy. Shares of Digital Insight were advancing 6 5/8, or 13.7%, to 55.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

raised its rating on

FileNet

(FILE)

to outperform from neutral and set a price target of 50. Shares of FileNet were tacking on 11/16 to 30 3/8.

J.P. Morgan downgraded the rating of

Hartford Financial

(HIG) - Get Report

to market perform from buy. Shares of Hartford Financial were skidding 2 3/8, or 5.6%, to 39 1/2,

Banc of America raised its rating on

Manugistics

(MANU) - Get Report

to strong buy from buy. Shares of Manugistics were gaining 5/16 to 55 1/4.

Salomon Smith Barney

analyst Jack Grubman reiterated his buy rating on

MCI WorldCom

(WCOM)

. Shares of MCIWorldCom were mounting 2 3/8, or 5.3%, to 46 11/16.

Salomon Smith Barney upped

MedImmune's

(MEDI)

rating to buy and set a price target of 170. Shares of MedImune were jumping 7 3/4, or 5.9%, to 137 3/8.

Merrill Lynch

raised its rating on

Noble Drilling

(NE) - Get Report

to near-term buy from near-term accumulate, saying its intermediate-term range for its shares is 42. Shares of Noble Drilling were moving up 1 1/16 to 31 5/8.

Merrill Lynch upped its intermediate-term rating on

Praxair

(PX)

to buy from neutral. Shares of Praxair were mounting 1/4 to 41 5/8.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown reinstated coverage of

SpectraSite

(SITE) - Get Report

with a buy rating. Shares of SpectraSite were retreating 1 3/16, or 5.6%, to 20.

First Boston upgraded

Toll Brothers

(TOL) - Get Report

to buy from hold. Shares of Toll Brothers were gaining 7/16 to 17 1/4.

J.P. Morgan cut the rating for

Travelers Property

(TAP) - Get Report

to market perform from buy. Shares of Travelers Property were falling 1 1/4 to 33 11/16.

Miscellany

Fidelity Holdings

(FDHG)

was sliding 3/8 to 13 7/8 after it said it tapped its president, Doron Cohen, as its new CEO.

IBM

(IBM) - Get Report

was slipping 1/8 to 115 1/2 after it said it will introduce a new brand of personal computer devices designed for Web access in the second quarter, as part of a plan to regain momentum in its PC business and return to profitability.

United Parcel Service

(UPS) - Get Report

was declining 5/8 to 55 3/4 after it said it has formed a new division, UPS e-ventures, to identify and develop new businesses related to supply chain management and e-commerce.