Yesterday's tech-focused negativity has spread overseas in a big way, and it looks like it's setting up to continue in today's U.S. trading.
S&P 500 futures
lately were down 13.6 to 1516.9, about 8 points below fair value. The thinly traded
futures were down 63.5 to 4405.
Down was the clear direction in Europe's midday action, with France's heretofore-hot
down 2.7%, Germany's
down 2.6% and the U.K.'s
Asian stocks were battered overnight. Japan's
slid 1.3% and Hong Kong's
plunged 3.5% (see today's
Asian Markets Update for more).
news that disk drive maker
is going private in a complex deal involving
and a private investor group had both stocks moving in preopen
trading. Seagate last traded at 70 3/4, up from its New York close of 62 3/4 but down from its late composite close of 74. Veritas, which is buying back Seagate's 33% Veritas stake, was up 12 9/16 to 155 1/16.
was off 3/16 to 107 and
was down 2 to 58 1/4 as the company's announced a joint venture with
. British Telecom was down 3.4% in London trading.
Last Night's After-Hours Trading
Lock up the monkeys!
has gone bananas in post-close trading.
The data storage company rose 15 1/2 to 158 on 484,000 shares on
, 18 23/32 to 161 1/32 on 52,000 shares on
and 16 3/8 to 158 5/8 on 214,000 shares on
The big news --
announced that a $20 million deal would take Seagate private, with all its operating assets going to private investors and its stake in Veritas returning to the company.
Saying this deal is "a little complicated" is like saying that
thinks her brother is "neat." Essentially Veritas buys up Seagate and then sells its assets to private investors for $2 billion in cash. For more on the deal itself,
has the story.
Tonight's upward momentum helped save Veritas from a terrible day in which it fell 12 7/16, or 8%, to 142 1/2 as business-to-business names broke out the soap and took a bath. Seagate also got a good rub from the deal, chasing today's more than four-point loss with a gain of 11 1/4 to 74 on 730,000 shares on Instinet and 2 5/8 to 70 on 48,000 shares on RediBook.
Put simply, B2B plays got killed today. As money flowed out of trendy tech sectors and into the Dow's staid components, many of the companies that have ramped up significantly this year were making an audible sucking noise until they were saved by the closing bell.
is a perfect example of this phenomenon. Once known as
, this B2B play had a hot hand for the first two months, only to feel the wrath of investors in the third. The past two days have been particularly troubling for the company, which dropped close to 34 points on extraordinarily heavy volume.
During today's day-session, it was among the top 20 most-active Nasdaq issues while dropping 14 7/8, or 18.8%, to 64 1/8. Tonight, Ventro continued to slide. It fell 3/16 to 64 3/4 on 15,000 shares on Island.
The most recent news from the company came earlier today and landed with a thud on Wall Street.
The company announced it sold $250 million in seven-year convertible subordinated notes and called off a previously announced sale of 1.825 million shares in common stock, citing market conditions. And even money says those market conditions have an awful lot to do with dropping 73% since hitting an all-time peak of 239 13/16 on Feb. 25.
Also at play in the fields of B2B were a handful of other issues that got taken out like Chinese leftovers.
, another notable day-session Nasdaq loser, falling 18 5/16, or 9.8%, to 169 3/16, continued to slide in the post-close news. After slipping 2 points for most of the session, it spiked in the last minutes of trading and ended off 3/16 to 169 on 12,000 shares on Island.
Technology -- the forest to the B2B trees -- was a mixed bag in post-close moves. Some companies got off the canvas, while other took a standing eight or stayed down for the count.
, which rose 2 11/16 to 157 1/2, a notable daytime non-participant in the selloff, eased in after-hours. Once down more than a point, it was last off 1 to 156 1/2 on 54,000 shares on Instinet, 1 1/4 to 156 1/4 on 45,000 shares on Island and 1/2 to 157 3/8 on 29,000 shares on RediBook.
Today's resistance to gravity came on news that Qualcomm,
had successfully made the first phone call using Qualcomm's bread-and-butter CDMA platform. Technically, that's not a "phone" call but a voice transferred via an emerging wireless technology, which is why it was so notable.
Two days ago,
was one happy company. Riding a wave of investor glee, the company made like a Porsche on Ventura Highway and ramped up 93.8% from the end of 1999 until it hit a peak of 218 1/16. Since then, it's been a scary ride. The company has fallen close to 100 points in the last two sessions, with today's 39-point folly the most recent contribution.
Tonight, the company turned itself around, gaining 4 1/8 to 126 1/4 on 17,000 shares on Island.
, a member of the recently devastated
TheStreet.com Internet Sector
index, recovered after-hours, gaining 1 3/4 to 55 on 17,000 shares on Island. During the day, it fell 9 3/8, or 14.9%, to 53 3/8.
dropped some news into the post-bell pond, but the ripples haven't been too severe, or even noticeable.
After the close, Michael Dell's baby announced that its Dell Ventures unit would be broadening its scope to include equity investments and incubation services, a/la
. The expansion will cause a minor shake-up in Dell's executive suite as its current CFO will head up the ventures unit while a VP will take that vacated position.
At last check, Dell was up 3/8 to 54 on 121,000 shares on Instinet and 11/16 to 54 1/2 on 12,000 shares on Island. For more on Dell's move into incubation, check
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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.