Florida Court Upholds Antitobacco Ruling

Publish date:


Florida Supreme Court

refused to intervene in a class-action suit that sided with Florida smokers. The ruling in the


suit, which allows smokers to be awarded damages collectively instead of individually, leaves tobacco companies exposed to a potential multibillion-dollar judgment.

Philip Morris

(MO) - Get Report

said tobacco companies would keep fighting to have the suit dismissed.

After-Hours Trading

Penny stocks played more than tiddlywinks in after-hours trading on

Island ECN


Some of them played with seven-digit trading volumes.

Elcom International


topped the list, followed by

Technical Chemicals & Products



NewStar Media



Also notable:

Commerce One


, which tacked more gains onto today's 56-point leap.

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


MarketXT, formerly Eclipse Trading, offers after-hours trading to retail clients of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's (MWD) Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Online and Mellon Bank's (MEL) Dreyfus Brokerage Services. Clients can trade 200 of the most actively traded New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market issues, 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday through Thursday.



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


Eric Gillin

In other postclose news (earnings estimates from

First Call/Thomson Financial

; earnings reported on a diluted basis unless otherwise specified):

Mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures



said it would temporarily push back its $2 billion merger with



until mid-January. Dynegy said that the acquisition was held up due to the delayed sale of power projects to

El Paso Energy


, which is part of the merger's regulatory requirements.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

Global Imaging Systems


warned that it expects to post third-quarter earnings of 18 cents to 20 cents a share, missing the six-analyst estimate of 26 cents. The company blamed the disappointing earnings on increasing debt, Y2K concerns and a drop in noncopier sales.



Nasdaq Stock Market

said short interest for the month ended Dec. 15 hit 2.32 billion shares, up from the month-ago report of 2.27 billion shares.