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The Night Watch: Novellus, Williams Cos. Head Lower

The traders who showed up weren't making many big moves in the extra session Tuesday, as a general lack of news kept buyers and sellers on the sidelines.

The Nasdaq 100 Unit Trust (QQQ) was the most active issue on Instinet after the bell, where it lost 0.6% to $30.92. Overall, volume was on the light side. More than an hour into extra trading, around 1.8 million shares changed hands among the 20 most active stocks on Instinet.

Chip-equipment maker Novellus (NVLS) was off 2.4% to $45.54 as the company offered essentially lukewarm comments during its midquarter update. Semiconductor gearmaker Applied Materials (AMAT) was down 1.9%.

Among other active stocks, Oracle (ORCL) was flat at $9, and Cisco (CSCO) was up 0.4% to $16.45. Intel (INTC) was down 0.5% at $28.20.

AT&T Wireless (AWE) and Sun Micro (SUNW) were each up 0.1%. Microsoft (MSFT) was slipping 0.1%, and WorldCom (WCOM) was unchanged.

Williams (WMB) was down 2% to $16.77 after Standard & Poor's cut the company's debt rating to triple-B from triple-B-plus, but volume was light. Bebe Stores (BEBE) was one of the biggest losers, falling 6.6% to $18.05 on word the apparel chain's president and chief operating officer resigned.

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