NU Online News Service, Feb. 10, 2:50 p.m. – Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, N.J., had no comment on published reports that it is negotiating with Wachovia Corporation, Charlotte, N.C., on a plan to merge the two companies’ stock brokerage and research services.

The New York Times reported today that executives of the two companies had worked over the weekend to complete details of a joint venture that would create a firm with 13,600 brokers.

The two firms have negotiated about the venture since last fall, but talks broke down over the issue of control, according to the story by Times’ reporters Andrew Ross Sorkin and Riva D. Atlas.

Bloomberg News, New York, reported a month ago that Prudential was in talks with Wachovia because Prudential wants to exit the securities business, in which it reportedly lost around $300 million over the past two years.

At press time, a Wachovia Corporation spokesman had not returned a call seeking comment.