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The Night Watch: American Home's Shares Move Higher Following Fen-Phen News

( Updated from 7:37 p.m. EDT)

A federal judge approved drug company American Home Products' (AHP - Get Report) $3.75 billion national settlement with former users of two of its medicines used in the "fen-phen" diet cocktail. The initial settlement was reached Oct. 6, but was under judicial review until today, when the settlement became official. The company was happy with the news, said a spokesman.

Shares rose 6 cents to 54.625 on Instinet after the post-bell announcement.


Unlike the mail-order-bride phenomenon, SmarterKids.com (SKDS) is not a place to procure genius offspring.

The online kids' education store was voted the " Forbes favorite" in the toy category by the influential business magazine in its annual e-business round-up.

The online kid's education store was voted the " Forbes favorite" in the toy category in the influential business magazine's annual e-business round-up.

The Forbes gang surfs thousands of Web sites (that sounds like fun, actually) to pick 300 of the best sites. Then Forbes.com whittles the best down to the bestest ever! SmarterKids.com shares popped 33% during the day session but lost 25 cents, or 12.5%, to 1.75.


Optelecom (OPTC) rallied more than 90% during the day session after the debut of some new and improved technology. Its line of PixelStream digital fiber-optic transmission products promise broadcast quality video with flexible audio and data transmission options over optical fiber.

Considering that even the mention of the words optical fiber induces frenzied bouts of gains, it is no surprise that this announcement sent investors on a daylong buying binge that ebbed into some profit-taking at night. Optelecom shares gave back 53 cents to 11.18 on a respectable 379,000 shares traded.


eSoft (ESFT) signed a licensing and original equipment manufacturer distribution agreement with 3Com (COMS) to distribute its Redphish system and software to 3Com's small- to medium-sized business customers. eSoft provides customized Internet connectivity product suites to small- and medium-sized businesses.

Redphish lets Internet service providers and telecommunications companies create private-label Internet server and appliance products through licensing and marketing Redphish software applications to run on their own hardware platform. eSoft partied hard, rallying 48% during the day session and tacking on another 2 cents to 6.71 at night.


For junkies of technology news they don't quite understand, here is a cryptic tidbit on encryption. CopyTele (COPY) unveiled a digital hardware encryption technology after the bell. The developer of telecommunications and encryption products gives the world a new line of Cryptele products that will secure voice, email, computer files and data transfers. The product includes a virus control feature that provides virus protection by encrypting email directories.

CopyTele shares rose 1.25, or 111%, to 2.37 on the news.


Shares of Excite@Home (ATHM) rose 1.72 to 15.66 after AT&T (T) said Monday that in September it would begin consolidating Excite@Home's results in its own financial results. AT&T shares were down 68 cents to 30.25

TheStreet.com covered the story earlier.

Elvis fans descended on online drugstore PlanetRx.com (PLRX) after the ailing e-retailer said it would move from San Francisco to Memphis, Tenn., to save money and be closer to the memory of the great sideburned one.

Shares were shaken 37cents, or 66%, higher to 93.

10 most active stocks on Instinet (6:30 p.m. EDT)
Company Price Change Session Volume
Microsoft (MSFT) 71.25 -0.0625 133,618
Intel (INTC) 74 +0.125 94,818
Optelecom (OPTC) 11.125 -0.59375 72,400
Cisco (CSCO) 66.125 +0.0625 69,636
Smurfit-Stone (SSCC) 11.9375 -- 68,500
ESoft (ESFT) 6.8125 +0.125 56,700
WorldCom (WCOM) 37.1875 -- 49,814
Oracle (ORCL) 86.75 -- 41,526
Yahoo! (YHOO) 122.375 +0.3125 40,200
Abbott Labs (ABT) 43.1875 -0.0625 39,500

This information is provided by Instinet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reuters (RTRSY). For further information, please contact Instinet at www.instinet.com .

10 most active stocks on Island ECN (8 p.m. EDT)
Company Price Change Session Volume
CareMatrix (CMDC) 0.55 +0.3 593,649
Smarterkids.com (SKDS) 1.75 -0.25 447,877
Optelecom (OPTC) 11.18 -0.5313 379,224
Esoft ( ESFT) 6.71 +0.0225 340,694
Excite@Home (ATHM) 15.66 +1.7225 184,929
PlanetRx.com (PLRX) 0.9375 +0.375 175,872
Copytele (COPY) 2.375 +1.25 159,546
ANACOMP (ANCO) 1.24 -0.01 73,360
Henley Healthcare (HENL) 1.77 -0.0113 55,888
Intelect Communications (ICOM) 2 -0.0938 42,906

Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT.

Confused? TheStreet.com explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl , a section devoted to after-hours trading.

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