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The Night Watch: After Hours Light as a Summer Breeze

After-hours trading remained relatively light, capping off a week where the extended session has been pretty quiet overall. Lacking any major news items propelling the stocks either way, many strangers to the extended session paid a visit to the after-hours party.

Companies such as Apria Healthcare Group (AHG), Gentex Corporation (GNTX), and Plug Power (PLUG) all traded in light volume and produced little movement, except for Apria, which dropped 4.8%. The company had gained 7% during the day after reporting Thursday that second-quarter revenue had increased over the previous year.

Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN) said preliminary testing data of one of its drugs to treat Type 2 diabetes showed lowered incidence of nausea for those that take the drug. Amylin was the number one mover on the Instinet 20 most active after-hours stocks, but remained unchanged at $7.60, 40 minutes into the extended session on just over 500,000 shares changing hands.

Mykrolis (MYK) was off 2.8%, to $15.80 in the extended session, after its trading debut during the regular session. The company, which was spun off by Millipore Corp. (MIL), closed at $16.25, below its open price of $17.25, but above its offering price of $15.

Oracle (ORCL) was gaining back some of the ground lost during the regular session as shares were up 0.3% to $15.21 in the extended session. Friday morning, Goldman Sachs analyst Rick Sherlund cut his earnings estimate for 2002 by 2 cents. During the regular session, investors didn't like what they heard as shares fell 83 cents, or 5.2% to close at $15.16.

After dropping 2.4% in the regular session, Nortel Network Corp. (NT) was up 0.3%, to $7.40 in the extended session. Earlier in the day the company said it sold $1.5 billion of convertible notes.

Other than the newcomers, the regulars also made an appearance. Cisco (CSCO) and Sun Microsystems (SUNW) were slightly up, Intel (INTC) was even, and Microsoft (MSFT) was slightly down all on light volume.

10 most active stocks on Island ECN (5:00 p.m. EDT)
Company Price Change Session Volume
Nasdaq 100 Tracking Stock (QQQ) 40.25 N/A 89,629
iBeam Broadcasting (IBEM) 0.19 0.00 88,642
Exodus Communications (EXDS) 1.80 -0.02 50,562
Oracle (ORCL) 15.18 +0.02 38,187
Brocade Communications (BRCD) 32.79 0.00 34,653
Cisco Systems (CSCO) 18.33 0.00 34,035
JDS Uniphase (JDSU) 8.85 +0.08 28,469
Palm, Inc. (PALM) 4.28 0.00 21,933
Ciena (CIEN) 30.06 +0.04 21,563
Cima Labs (CIMA) 54.03 +0.03 21,000

Island ECN offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

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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