Stocks are getting knocked around in overseas trading, but the U.S. futures are noncommittal at worst.
S&P 500 futures
lately were down 2.6 to 1335.5, less than a point below fair value and indicating nothing in particular for the open. The thinly traded
futures were down 39 to 4155.
Major indices in Europe were down sharply, with Germany's
leading on the downside with a loss of 2.6%. The French
was down 1.1%, as was the U.K.'s
. Stocks trended lower in overnight Asian trading as well (see today's
Asian Markets Update for more).
In corporate news,
announced plans to offer AOL's Instant Messenger service on Nokia wireless phones. The news wasn't helping either stock in preopen
trading, with Nokia down 3 7/8 to 201 and AOL down 1 1/8 to 58 1/2.
said they plan to offer high-speed wireless networks. 3Com was up 2 1/16 to 82 3/4.
Friday's After-Hours Trading
Three companies left the opening bell traveling at a constant rate of speed.
, got blindsided by an announcement from
. The Big Three plan to create an online commerce site. i2, which already has a deal in place with
, fell 14.7% on news that it was left out of the deal.
The two others,
, raced ahead more than 14% each on the news that Ford traded half of its stake in Oracle for half of GM's stake in Commerce One.
If all three companies, which started at a constant rate, ended the day session at dramatically different levels, then how would each fare in after-hours?
All three rose.
i2 improved 3 7/16 to 153 7/8 on 34,000 shares. Oracle gained 17/64 to 70 7/8 on 44,000 shares while Commerce One gained 5 3/8 to 218 on 34,000 shares.
Large-cap algebra was all the rage as many day-session losers and winners practiced their addition and subtraction skills. Er, mostly subtraction skills.
, off 2.8% during the day, turned bad to better with a gain of 1 1/2 to 82 1/8 on 31,000 shares on Island. Earlier in the evening, it was off more than a point.
Popular B2B play
Internet Capital Group
had a rough day, dropping 10% on last night's earnings release, in which the company said it expected losses to continue. Tonight, Internet Capital continued to slide, gaining 21/32 to 107 1/2 on 28,000 shares.
And IPO winner
was a loser in the postclose session, easing 7/64 to 54 on 39,000 shares on Island. During the day, the wireless chipmaker more than doubled from its offering price of 25. It finished up 29 to 54.
The popularity of the typewriter, that unpretentious newsroom staple circa
All the President's Men
, has gone the way of
youth. Despite posturing otherwise, both have lost something that can never be regained.
Almost two weeks ago,
, a brand-name typewriter manufacturer, announced the hiring of
Deloitte & Touche
to help it boost the stock price. This move essentially puts Smith Corona on the auction block, causing investors to salivate about a buyout.
The company has had stock problems for a half-decade. After filing for Chapter 11 protection in July 1995, the company was delisted in June 1996 during a reorganization period and then relisted in May 1997. Upon the resumption of trading, Smith Corona did all right, hitting a post-relisting high of 8 in November 1997. Then the typewriter maker had an
in 1998, losing 74% of its stock value, leaving it worth less than 2 bucks, where it has languished ever since.
Tonight, Smith Corona pushed above 2 for the first time in a long time, as investors speculate that a buyer has been found. It rose 1 5/32 to 2 7/32 on 2 million shares on Island ECN. This volume is notable, but really nothing new in the wake of the Feb. 14 announcement. Over the nine trading days since then, the company's average daily volume increased nearly 600% from 1999's daily average.
Since 5:30 p.m. EST,
has sprinted up Island's charts like
after a 'roid cocktail. The e-tailer rose 1 1/2 to 5 on 154,000 shares after announcing it had been selected as an
"fulfillment partner." Earlier, it had been up more than 3 points.
Per the terms of the agreement, Value America will fulfill all of IBM's commitments for all state government purchases made by either New York or Pennsylvania. All individual competition is essentially restricted by the terms of the deal, which enables Value America to sell all of IBM's merchandise at a pre-established contract price.
This news was released shortly after 5:30 p.m., sending the stock's volume skyrocketing from almost nothing to the No. 6 spot on Island's most-active list.
Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.