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Weekend Report: Three European Bourses to Form Combined Exchange

Also, Ford and DaimlerChrysler reportedly eyeing rivals; plus, NCAA tourney scores.

First there was the

euro

. Now get ready for the next step in Europe's disappearing financial borders: the

Euronext

.

No, Europe has not established a unified stock exchange -- not yet, anyway. But the wave of consolidation sweeping the telecommunications, banking and automobile industries is about to hit the region's financial markets as well.

On Monday, the bourses in Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels will announce they are merging, French newspaper

Le Journal du Dimanche

reported Sunday. They will collectively form an exchange to be known as the Euronext, the newspaper said.

The three bourses will have a combined market capitalization of 2.4 trillion euros, or $2.32 trillion, which will make the Euronext the second-largest exchange in Europe after London's,

The Wall Street Journal

reported.

In Other News

Days after

Ford

(F) - Get Report

announced it will buy

BMW's

Land Rover

sport utility line, a German newspaper is reporting that Ford is interested in taking over the entire German automaker.

Welt am Sonntag

reported Sunday that the two companies have discussed the possibility of a takeover through a third party over the past three months.

The newspaper also reported that

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

is looking at buying

Fiat

, even after the Italian automaker announced a stock-swapping alliance with

GM

(GM) - Get Report

last week.

Qwest Communications

(Q)

is determined to see its planned merger with

U S West

(USW)

go through, Qwest Chief Executive

Joseph Nacchio

told the

Denver Rocky Mountain News

in an article published Sunday. While he didn't identify

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

as the third-party suitor that had looked at buying both companies, he said talk of a three-way deal likely would not be resurrected.

The

FBI

is conducting a criminal investigation into the crash of

Alaska Airlines

(ALK) - Get Report

Flight 261,

The Seattle Times

reported Saturday. The newspaper said the agency was examining the airline's maintenance practices.

Nestle

(NSRGY) - Get Report

announced a voluntary recall of Carnation Good Start, Carnation Follow-Up and Carnation Alsoy 13-fluid-ounce concentrate on Sunday,

Reuters

reports. The company said it fears these products may not have been fully sterilized, although it said it has not found proof of any bad samples.

A pair of new films this weekend demonstrated that moviegoers have not yet tired of legal dramas about contaminated water or thrillers featuring a boy with supernatural premonitions.

Julia Roberts'

Erin Brockovich

topped the box office with $28.2 million, knocking

Mission to Mars

to second place with $10.9 million.

Final Destination

debuted at No. 3 with $10.2 million.

And the

NCAA

men's hoops winners Sunday were:

Duke

over

Kansas

, 69-64;

Florida

over

Illinois

, 93-76;

Seton Hall

over

Temple

, 67-65;

Oklahoma State

over

Pepperdine

, 75-67;

North Carolina

over

Stanford

, 60-53;

Tulsa

over

TheStreet Recommends

Cincinnati

, 69-61;

Tennessee

over

Connecticut

, 65-51; and

Miami

(Florida) over

Ohio State

, 75-62.

In the Papers

How soon will today's hottest Internet companies burn out? That's the question

Barron's

poses in this week's cover story. The magazine examined 207 companies' 1999 year-end cash reserves, and found that 51 wouldn't be able to last for more than a year without making a profit or finding additional funding. The five rated most critical were

Pilot Network Services

(PILT)

,

CDnow

(CDNW)

,

Secure Computing

(SCUR)

,

Peapod

(PPOD)

and

VerticalNet

(VERT)

. (

TheStreet.com

(TSCM)

ranked 110 on the list, with cash to last 27.55 months under

Barron's

calculations.)

Billions of dollars in revenues will be at stake when

Amgen

(AMGN) - Get Report

and

Transkaryotic Therapies

(TKTX)

square off in a Boston federal courtroom next month over

Epogen

, a drug that treats anemia.

Barron's

previews the patent-infringement case against TKT, which wants to produce Epogen through a different process.

Also in biotech,

Barron's

interviews

Alan Carr

, a biotech money manager for

Chase Hambrecht & Quist

. His largest holdings as of Dec. 31 were

Cubist Pharmaceuticals

(CBST)

,

Biovail

(BVF)

,

Celgene

(CELG) - Get Report

,

Gilead Sciences

(GILD) - Get Report

,

CYTYC

(CYTC)

,

Catalytica

(CTAL)

,

Sepracor

(SEPR)

,

MedImmune

(MEDI)

,

CV Therapeutics

(CVTX)

and

Lynx Therapeutics

(LYNX)

.

The Sunday

New York Times

recounts the downfall of

Fruit of the Loom

(FTL)

, which is now mired in bankruptcy court. Its former CEO

William F. Farley

, whose fortunes rose as the company's fell, told the newspaper his personal finances are "ugly as sin" because of the company's now-depressed stock.

David Rheingold is a New York-based freelance writer. At the time of publication he had no positions in any of the securities mentioned, although holdings can change at any time.