A large portion of the tech sector was taking a breather this morning.

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

was sliding 25, or 5.7%, to 411 ahead of its earnings report, which is due out after the close.

America Online

(AOL)

was tuckered out after yesterday's merger mania, lately was sliding 7 5/8, or 10.5%, to 65. Shares of AOL's new pal

Time Warner

(TWX)

were also resting, lately off 7 5/16, or 7.9%, to 84 15/16 after heavy action yesterday.

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

however, was doing some heavy lifting for the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

, rising 5 15/16, or 6.9%, to 91 3/4, after bullish comments from

Credit Suisse First Boston

which upped its rating to strong buy from buy and raised its price target to 150.

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures

British Telecom

(BTY)

fell 4 13/16 to 194 after saying it has entered a pact to purchase Ireland-based

Esat Telecom

(ESAT)

in a deal valued at $2.46 billion. British Telecom said the transaction was favored by Esat's board. Shares of Esat gained 3 1/2 to 97.

Du Pont

(DD) - Get Report

slipped 5 1/16 to 69 11/16 after it said it was teaming up with

Borealis

on a plastics manufacturing joint venture which would involve Du Pont taking 50% of Borealis' plant near Antwerp, Belgium.

Pegasus Communications

(PGTV)

popped 9 1/16, or 9.4%, to 105 3/4 after saying it has agreed to acquire

Golden Sky

in a $1 billion deal. According to the terms, Pegasus would issue 6.5 million Class A common shares to Golden Sky shareholders and take on roughly $373 million of Golden Sky's debt. Pegasus also said it plans to sell its Puerto Rico-based cable system to

Centennial Cellular

(CYCL)

in a cash transaction of $170 million. Centennial gained 2 1/2 to 8 7/8.

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Report

tacked on 1 9/16 to 102 and

Clarent

(CLRN)

gained 1 3/8 to 74 5/16 after the companies said they have inked a pact on the creation of Internet protocol telephony products.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(

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

)

Network-chipmaker

Applied Micro Circuits

(AMCC)

lost 8 1/2 , or 5.9%, to 136 3/8 after it

reported earnings of 21 cents a share for the fiscal third quarter of 2000, which ended Dec. 31. The results were 2 cents higher than the

First Call/Thomson Financial

consensus and 1 cent better than the company estimated in a Jan. 3 earnings preannouncement.

Goldman Sachs

upped its fiscal 2000 earning estimate to 71 cents a share from 65.

Bank One

(ONE) - Get Report

slipped 11/16 to 29 9/16 after it said it expects to report fourth-quarter earnings of 78 cents a share, a penny below the 25-analyst estimate of 79 cents. The bank said it would report fiscal 2000 earnings of $2.80 to $3.00 a share, greatly missing the 26-analyst estimate of $3.42. The disappointing outlook is linked to its financially floundering credit card unit,

First USA

, which triggered profit warnings in August and November. The company said it saw 1999 earnings of $3.45 to $3.55 a share. The 26-analyst estimate sees the company posting fiscal 1999 earnings of $3.46 a share.

For more on Bank One's latest earnings

warning, check out the coverage from

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom.

Charlotte Russe

(CHIC) - Get Report

inched up 3/8 to 18 3/4 after it posted first-quarter earnings of 22 cents a share, beating the four-analyst estimate of 19 cents and the year-ago 15 cents.

Centura Banks

(CBC)

lost 1/8 to 39 1/2 after it posted fourth-quarter earnings of $1.05 per share, missing the 11-analyst estimate by a penny but up from the year-ago 88 cents.

Compuware

(CPWR)

climbed 3 3/16, or 13.7%, to 26 1/2 after it said after yesterday's close that it expects its third-quarter earnings before items to match or beat the 13-analyst estimate of 33 cents a share. Compuware said its total third-quarter revenue would be in the range of $620 million to $633 million, more than 45% above year-ago levels, but warned that its professional service revenue would fall below expectations.

Compuware also said it was once again extending its $9-a-share tender offer for

Viasoft

(VIAS)

, this time until Jan. 18. Viasoft inched up 1/16 to 6 7/16. This morning, Credit Suisse First Boston analyst Wendell Laidley cut his price target on Compuware to 42 from 51.

Hillenbrand

(HB)

lost 1 13/16, or 5.4%, to 31 3/4 despite reporting fourth-quarter earnings of 58 cents a share, beating the five-analyst estimate of 56 cents but down from the year-ago 75 cents.

Juno Online Services

(JWEB)

jumped 5 11/16, or 15.2%, to 43 5/8 after it posted a fourth-quarter loss of 45 cents a share, narrower than the three-analyst estimate of a 55-cent loss.

Mentor Graphics

(MENT)

inched up 1/8 to 12 9/16 after it said it is on track to meet the 10-analyst fourth-quarter earnings estimate of 25 cents a share.

Newhall Land

(NHL)

lost 1/16 to 28 after it said it made an upward revision of its fiscal 1999 earnings to $2.80 to $2.85 per unit, edging out the two-analyst estimate of $2.74 per unit.

priceline.com

(PCLN)

slid 13/16 to 53 7/16 despite saying single-day sales hit $3 million for the first time ever, and that its airline and hotel services set seven-day sales records.

Sodexho Marriott

(SDH)

lost 1/8 to 12 1/4 after it reported first-quarter earnings of 44 cents a share, in line with the three-analyst estimate but down from the year-ago pro forma earnings of 45 cents.

Total Systems Services

(TSS) - Get Report

fell 1/4 to 16 1/8 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings of 10 cents a share, in line with the single-analyst estimate and up from the year-ago 9-cent profit.

Offerings and stock actions

Corning

(GLW) - Get Report

dropped 5 3/8 to 112 5/8 after saying it plans to offer 13 million shares in a $2 billion shelf registration.

Forward Air

(FWRD) - Get Report

fell 1/8 to 46 3/8 after it said it set a 3-for-2 stock split.

Analyst actions

Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown

sliced its rating on

Excite@Home

(ATHM) - Get Report

to market perform from buy in the wake of the AOL-Time Warner merger announcement.

Separately,

Schroders

said it cut its price target on AOL to 85 from 105 and lowered its rating to outperform from outperform significantly on concerns that its new agreement with Time Warner will slow AOL's growth rate and arbitrage will pressure its shares. Credit Suisse cut its rating on Time Warner to a hold from a buy. Shares of Excite@Home were losing 1 3/16 to 38 7/8 and AOL was falling 7 1/4, or 9.9%, to 65 3/8, while Time Warner shares were declining 7 1/2, or 8%, to 84 3/4.

Warburg Dillon Read

sliced its fourth-quarter earnings estimate on

Aon

(AOC)

to 40 cents a share from 58 cents and its 1999 estimate to $2.07 a share from $2.25.

Goldman Sachs

also cuts its 1999 estimate to $2.10 from $2.30.

Salomon Smith Barney also downgraded the shares, to neutral from buy, and lowered its 2000 estimate to $2.10 a share from $2.60. Shares of Aon were slipping 1 5/16 to 28 13/16.

Warburg Dillon Read rolled out coverage of

Chromavision

(CVSN)

with a buy rating and set a price target of 25. Shares of Chromavision were lifting 3/4, or 5.7%, to 14.

U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray

initiated coverage of

Egreetings

(EGRT)

with a buy rating. Shares of Egreetings were gaining 1, or 9.1%, to 11 15/16.

Credit Suisse First Boston upped its ratings on

Coca-Cola

(KO) - Get Report

and

Pepsi

(PEP) - Get Report

to strong buy from a buy. Shares of Coca-Cola were adding 1 7/16 to 60 1/4, while Pepsi was tacking on 1/8 to 37.

ING Barings cut its rating on

Dana

(DCN)

to hold from buy. Shares climbed 1/16 to 30 11/16.

SG Cowen

rolled out coverage of

Galileo Technology

(GALT) - Get Report

with a buy rating. Galileo Technology was moving up 1 3/4, or 7.2%, to 25 7/8.

ING Barings sliced its rating on

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

to hold from strong buy. GM braked 1 15/16 to 73 9/16.

ING Barings upped its rating on

Gentex

(GNTX) - Get Report

to strong buy from buy. Gentex rose 5/8 to 26 3/4.

Banc of America Securities

maintained its buy rating on

Infosys

(INFY) - Get Report

. The stock shares have been tumbling despite posting strong third-quarter earnings. Shares of Infosys were skidding 22, or 6.1%, to 335.

SoundView Technology

upped its rating on

J.D. Edwards

(JDEC)

to a strong buy and set a price target of 75. Shares of J.D. Edwards bouncing 7 7/16, or 23.6%, to 39.

ING Barings raised its rating on

Lear

(LEA) - Get Report

to strong buy from buy. Lear slipped 1/16 to 33 7/16.

Warburg Dillon Read

stamped

LSI

(LSI) - Get Report

and

MIP Technologies

(MIPS)

as its top picks for the first quarter of 2000. Shares of LSI were mounting 1/16 to 66 and MIP Technologies was climbing 6 7/16, or 14.8%, to 50 3/8.

Merrill Lynch

upped its rating on

McKesson HBOC

(MCK) - Get Report

to near-term accumulate from neutral. Shares of McKesson HBOC were adding 2 3/16, or 9.1%, to 26 1/8.

Wachovia

upgraded shares of

Newbridge Networks

(NN)

to a long-term buy from a neutral. Shares of Newbridge Networks were gaining 1 11/16, or 7%, to 25 3/4.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter rolled out coverage

PMC-Sierra

(PMCS)

with an outperform rating. Shares of PMC-Sierra were slipping 9 3/16, or 5.6%, to 154 5/8.

Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown rolled out coverage of

PSS World Medical

(PSSI)

with a buy rating. Shares of PSS World were tacking on 3/16 to 10 3/4.

Morgan Stanley

sliced its rating on

Quantum DLT & Storage Systems Group

(DSS) - Get Report

to a neutral from outperform, while Goldman Sachs lowered its rating to a market outperformer from trading buy. Shares of DLT & Storage Systems were shedding 2 11/16, or 22.4%, to 9 5/16.

Goldman Sachs

lowered its fiscal 2000 earnings estimate on

Seagram

(VO) - Get Report

11 cents a share to 19 cents. Shares of Seagram were unchanged at 54.

Merrill Lynch lifted his rating on

Southwest Airlines

(LUV) - Get Report

to near-term accumulate from neutral. Shares of Southwest Airlines were lifting 11/16 to 16 13/16.

J.P. Morgan started coverage of

USinternetworking

(USIX)

with a buy rating and set a 12 price target of 77. Shares popped 6 3/16, or 13.5%, to 51 7/8.

Miscellany

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

said it

settled an antitrust lawsuit, ending a three-year legal battle. No, not

that

antitrust suit. This claim was brought against it by software company

Caldera

, which filed the suit in July 1996, charging Microsoft with illegally trying to maintain its monopoly in operating systems. At the time, Caldera was seeking $1 billion in damages. Although the terms of the settlement were kept confidential, Microsoft said it will take a charge of 3 cents a share in the third quarter. Salt Lake City-based Caldera said it was pleased with the result but added -- in a sign that the companies are not planning on living happily ever after together -- that it will push the Linux operating system, an emerging rival to Microsoft's Windows platform. Shares of Microsoft were adding 1/2 to 112 13/16.

Toys R Us

(TOY)

was sliding 3/4, or 5.9%, to 11 7/8 after it said it has tapped John Eyler as its President and CEO.

For more on this

story, check out the coverage from

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom.