After a very pleasant weekend in New York, traders hopping off subways, ferries and taxis in the Wall Street area will be greeted by several hundred police officers bracing for some sort of protest on Wall Street.
It's one of the treats about
home offices overlooking the
New York Stock Exchange
-- we get a lot of protesters, the occasional music video team (we were treated to a swell
Rage Against the Machine
shooting this winter) and, basically, a lot of nuts.
Everyone will have a lot of time for protesting today, the May Day holiday has most of the world markets closed, so early indications for the opening of U.S. trading is pretty hard to come by.
A good deal of the market's attention is likely to be focused on
this morning, following last Friday's request from the Justice Department that the software giant be broken into two parts. There's a lot to this story, and
covered it on Friday and over this past weekend. For more insight, take a look at the
story written by
In early futures trading, the
June contract was recently about unchanged, about 1.5 points below fair value. The
June contract was trading up 38.95 to 3849.
In early trading on
, several names were trading higher this morning.
was recently quoted up 3 7/8 to 23 1/8 after it was announced that a Dutch food company, Numico, would be buying the vitamin maker. Also,
was quoted sharply higher this morning after reporting stronger-than-expected earnings last Thursday.
Friday's After-Hours Trading
Tonight's big winner was the gentleman in the red cap.
, who bears an unnerving resemblance to
, but distinguishes himself with his ever-present perky red hat, saw his stock jump 5 points in the aftermath of the 4:30 pm EDT
It fluctuated slightly, but finished the evening up 4 13/16 to 29 7/8 on 150,000 shares on Instinet and popped 5 to 30 on 380,000 Island shares.
Founded in 1994, Red Hat makes open source operating systems. The Red Hat Linux Os, competes with the Microsoft operating system and is distributed by PC and server manufacturers such as
Microsoft shares didn't flinch after the
asked a Judge
Thomas Penfield Jackson
to split the company in two. The DOJ proposal calls for splitting Microsoft into one company for the Windows operating system and another for software applications, including Office and the Internet Explorer browser.
The news was largely expected and had already been factored into prices. Since the April 3 ruling, that Microsoft abused their dominance in the market and stifled competition its shares have shed a quarter of their value. It rose 3/4 to 70 1/2 on 630,000 shares on
, the Canadian distributor of Linux, also took this opportunity to rally. Soon after the press conference, Corel appeared on the scene and nudged Microsoft and Red Hat from the most-traded positions on Island. Corel's stock climbed when it announced a switch to the Linnux operating system. Another attraction for late-night bargain hunters was the low price of the stock. It shimmied 2 11/32 higher to 8 7/8 on 510,000 shares on Island.
Post ruling, Microsoft was defiant, replying that a breakup would be a bad idea for everyone, especially consumers.
"Rather than be reasonable and try to resolve the case, the government is asking for extreme remedies that would hurt consumers and reduce innovations," said Microsoft spokesman Rick Miller, according to Reuters.
"These regulations do not help the software industry in any way," Gates said in a pre-recorded response.
Tell that to Softee's competitors, who shot up handily after-hours. Everything Linux-related rallied tonight.
Mr. Softee has until May 10 to file its response to the proposals, in preparation for a hearing on May 24. Everyone expects Microsoft to appeal, dragging this battle out in court as long as possible.
Before this evening's ruling, 300,000 Microsoft shares traded on Instinet in a half-hour. The reaction was luke-warm post-ruling, with only 300,000 additional shares changing hands in the next two hours.
Drugs were also in fashion this evening.
rose slightly after hours.
Immunex is a biopharmaceutical company with products under development for cancer, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory, infectious and cardiovascular diseases.
Toronto-based Synergy Mutual Funds termed an "extreme" trading fund, because of its high risk investment strategies and love of snowboarding and bungee jumping, has invested aggressively in Immunex, according to a press release on the biotech's website.
This information is provided by Instinet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reuters (RTRSY) . For further information, please contact Instinet at www.instinet.com.
Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT.
explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.