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Off-Hours Trading: Lernout Soars on Dragon Deal; Futures Strong

The Belgian speech products company is getting a warm reception for its buy of Dragon Systems. Elsewhere, Microsoft edges higher.

It looks like a strong morning for U.S. stocks, with the futures and Europe's markets solidly higher.


S&P 500 futures



lately were up 8.6 to 1547.1, more than 7 points above fair value. The thinly traded

Nasdaq 100

futures were up 49 to 4811.


CAC 40

remained, as they say in a neighboring country,

en fuego

. Lately it was up 1.9%, led by a 5.9% advance in

France Telecom


. Germany's

Xetra Dax

was up 1.6%, with

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

up 6.9%, and the U.K.'s

FTSE 100

was up 0.5%.

Overnight in Asia, Japan's

Nikkei 225

added 0.5% while Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

edged up 0.05% (see today's

Asian Markets Update for more).

In preopen


trading, Belgian speech technology company

Lernout & Hauspie


was soaring 17 3/4 to 126 1/2 after setting an acquisition of privately held

Dragon Systems

of Newton, Mass., for 5.45 million shares.


(MSFT) - Get Report

edged up 11/16 to 104 3/4 as it

continues to seek a resolution to its federal antitrust entanglement. Elsewhere, troubled lender

Bank One

(ONE) - Get Report

rose 1/2 to 32 1/2 on

news that former


(C) - Get Report

honcho James Dimon will take over as chairman and CEO.

Yesterday's After-Hours Trading

By David A. Gaffen
Staff Reporter

TheStreet Recommends

Monday after-hours activity was subdued. With very little news, the zoned-out folks in front of the screens are working some of the


most active:


(MSFT) - Get Report



(DELL) - Get Report



(CSCO) - Get Report

. All are among


10 most heavily traded.

Bank One

(ONE) - Get Report

, obviously sick of looking more like No. 2, said postclose it was hiring Jamie Dimon, former


(C) - Get Report

president, who was forced out when Citigroup merged with

Salomon Smith Barney


Dimon, reputed to be a formidable recruiter and an experienced manager, will be president and chief executive officer of Bank One, which has watched its stock price drop from an all-time high of 63 9/16 last summer to the low 30s. Lately, the shares were up 1 1/8 to 32 on 364,000



Dimon takes over from John McCoy, who retired in December after the bank warned analysts twice last year that problems with its credit card unit would cause the company to miss earnings expectations.

It used to be that kicking the tires and checking under the hood was enough research for buying a car. (That, and haggling with the dealer, or stealing it from the lot.) But


, a company that's trying to change all that, is apparently doing a pretty good job. The company said today that revenue is expected to be between $14 million and $15 million, 5% to 10% above original estimates.

And first-quarter losses are expected to be at least 25% below the company's original estimates, basically because the company's being thrifty and hiring less staff than anticipated.

The stock was cheered by the after-hours denizens, who were trading it up 1 to 9 3/16 on 461,000 Island shares. It was the second-most active on


, with 68,000 shares traded.

Incara Pharmaceuticals


today received a patent for a product that can develop into functioning liver tissue.

The company said, pre-close, it will begin human clinical trials in 2001 to investigate the transplantating of these cells by intravenous infusion as a treatment for patients suffering from liver failure and certain inherited metabolic diseases. Shares, which closed at 7 5/16 today, were lately off 1/16 to 7 1/4 on 31,000 Island shares.

OK, decipher this if you can.

Legato Systems


said today that it was selecting


business-to-business (that's B2B, if you don't get the lingo) portal to "optimize channel partnerships and sales performance." Legato is a leader in global enterprise storage management, because somebody has to be.

The company's stock was up 1 3/4 to 47 5/8 on 56,000 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.


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