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Off-Hours Trading: eBay Gains in Preopen Action; Futures Positive

Yahoo!, reportedly in talks on an alliance with eBay, hasn't yet traded on Instinet.

Despite a downside day overseas, U.S. stocks are looking to head higher at the open. But as we saw yesterday, that can all turn around in short order.


S&P 500 futures



lately were up 4.3 to 1384.3, about 6 points above fair value. The thinly traded

Nasdaq 100

futures were up 44 to 4344.

Weakness continued in Asia, extending

yesterday's decline, which turn built on

Monday's deep selloff. Japan's

Nikkei 225

lost 0.3% and Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

fell 1.1% (see today's

Asian Markets Update for more). Down was the clear direction in Europe, with France's

CAC 40

down 2.1%, Germany's

Xetra Dax

down 1.9% and the U.K.'s


off 0.9%.

Just one of the big Net stocks in the morning chatter was moving on




(EBAY) - Get Report

was up 10 to 221 on yesterday's late


report of alliance-or-maybe-even-merger talks with



, but Yahoo! hadn't traded.

Last Night's After-Hours Trading

By David A. Gaffen
Staff Reporter

In after-hours action, the usual spate of small- and micro-caps were dominating the first few hours of trading. But tonight,


reported that conversations between two of the dominant names on the Internet could lead to a partnership, a joint venture or even an out-and-out merger.


reported that





(EBAY) - Get Report

were in discussions that could have far-flung implications on "Net World." On the news, eBay was soaring in after-hours trading by 24 to 235.

After the

TheStreet Recommends

Nasdaq Composite Index

's second-worst one-day selloff, the dedicated traders are out there in full force using their skills -- because, hey, they still gotta pay the bills.

The most active stock on Island trading is


(ORCL) - Get Report

. The software company beat the Street's estimates, earning 17 cents a share for its fiscal third quarter, compared with the First Call 30-broker consensus of 13 cents a share.

The stock, which, like nearly everything else today, closed down, was bursting in after-hours action, up 6 3/8 to 83 3/8 on 1.08 million Island shares.

Another stock doing well on earnings news was



, which was Verity, Verity, Verity Fine.

The vendor of information management software (as opposed to the hot dog vendor, or three-card-monte guy who takes all your money) completely obliterated analyst estimates for the third quarter. The company reported fiscal third-quarter earnings of 34 cents a share, compared with the five-analyst First Call consensus of 12 cents per share.

The stock, which was not among Instinet's top 10, was up 9 to 67 on 54,700 Instinet shares.

The second-most active stock on Island was

Century Casinos

(CNTY) - Get Report

, which is oddly rising on little news at all. Sure, the company said it was holding its quarterly conference call Thursday, but released an earnings report last week, making the activity a bit strange.

The company owns Womacks Casino in Cripple Creek, Colo., as well as the Millennium Casino in Prague, which probably needs a new theme right about now.

The stock is up 5/16 to 2 3/16 on 873,000 Island shares. Company officials didn't return a call.

To talk about a company named



, we could use the assistance of the late, great, wrestler-announcer Gorilla Monsoon.


McKessonHBOC Medical Group

(a division of McKesson HBOC

(MCK) - Get Report

), from Richmond, Va., weight unknown, will tag-team with Bio-Plexus of Vernon, Conn., weight unknown, in a tag-team match to distribute products and hit their opponents in the solar plexus and the lower lumbar region."

The stock was up 3/32 to 4 11/32 on 479,000 Island shares.



, meanwhile, did make an announcement, one of those that's generally a guarantee to get somebody cheering.

The company, a reseller of

Sun Microsystems


products, said it's forming

Merisel Open Computing Alliance

, which is going to operate as a separate entity.

The stock rose 5/32 to 2 11/16 on 446,000 Island shares.

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

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, Mellon Bank's (MEL) Dreyfus Brokerage Services and clients of Salomon Smith Barney. It is also available to clients of, CyBerCorp and Interactive Brokers. 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.