It's another downbeat preopen, with overseas indices again taking a tumble. The futures are pointing lower as well, although not so sharply as yesterday.
S&P 500 futures on
lately were down 0.1 to 1429.9, less than 2 points below fair value. The thinly traded
futures were up 0.25 to 3551.75.
Europe's major bourses all were solidly lower, with Germany's
down 1.7%, France's
down 1.5% and the U.K.'s
off 0.5% (see today's
European Midday Update for more). Japan's
slid 2% overnight to its lowest close in six months, while Hong Kong's
dropped 0.8% (see today's
Asian Markets Update for more).
In preopen trading on
Wesley Jessen VisionCare
was getting slammed 2 13/16 to 35 1/4 after
Bausch & Lomb
made what it called a final bid for Wesley Jessen, $35.55 a share.
was suffering as well, down 5 3/8 to 99 7/8 on 300 shares after late yesterday reporting disappointing first-quarter results.
this morning defended the stock, calling the results "confusing" but strong and reiterating a buy.
The only other stock active on Island was
, up 3 7/16 to 47 1/8 on 120 shares after expanding its buyback program and setting the dates for its distribution of
Friday's After-Hours Trading
Tonight's episode of night watch has enough intrigue and gore to entertain the whole family.
Stay tuned to find out why
followed form and
bled all over the place.
Partnering with a widely feared American institution has paid off for Official Payments. The company lets consumers use their credit cards to pay government fees and taxes over the telephone or Internet. It also has a contract with the
Internal Revenue Service
to process the bulk of their credit card payments.
The IRS touted the success of the credit card program today, during a Washington conference of federal and state treasurers and finance officials. Besides the Internal Revenue Service, the electronic payment company has 495 government clients, including state, municipal and county governments.
Thomas Evans, the company's chairman and CEO, said that Official Payments helped process $510 million in credit card income taxes. The other 30 million was done by
While Official Payments didn't quite steal the day, it was making up for it after the bell. By daylight it ended unchanged at 4 5/8 after trading 213,400 shares. By 6:30 p.m. EDT, in typically thinner
ECN trading, 630,000 shares had traded hands and it had popped 1 3/8 to 6.
Official Payments fell from 16 3/4 to 5 1/4 on April 20, after announcing that CFO Brian Nocco was on his way out and the company posted losses of $8.9 million or 42 cents per share, versus a loss of 1 cent the same time last year.
VoiceStream had a severe case of late-night laryngitis. After reporting lousy losses, the wireless communications company coughed up 13 1/16 to 93 on only 27,000 shares on Island. In this epoch of elevated earnings, when companies have been punished for missing estimates by only a few pennies, this late night massacre is not out of context. Afterall, VoiceStream posted a loss of $1.68 per share, missing Wall Street's estimate by 54 cents. Oops.
Despite this disappointment, VoiceStream CEO, John Stanton, sang the company's praises in a press release, boasting 1.8 million customers and operating services from New York to Hawaii. But traders only heard sour notes, as the stock continued its epic slide.
QLogic, a maker of high-speed electronic connectors announced today that it will buy
which provides fiber switches for data storage networks.
QLogic crashed 25% today, losing 25 3/16 to 74 3/4 on the news. Ancor, was seen as a weight, after missing expectations for earnings and revenues.
H.K. Desai, the CEO of QLogic, appeared on
after-hours to promote the deal, the growth opportunity offered by the marriage and the great fit of the management teams and technology platforms.
The TV appearance could not have hurt the stock, which inched up 1 5/16 to 76 on 23,000 Island shares.
trading was a replay of the lethargic day session, with sleepy volume, cautious movement and an emphasis on blue chips.
, the scapegoat for today's Nasdaq losses, shedded 5 or 7% to 62 3/4, and topped Instinet's most-traded list. The stock must have been tired because it only mustered 200,000 shares in after-hour action.
rallied on late-breaking news. The broad-based supplier of local area network (LAN) and wide area network (WAN) systems made good on intentions to spinoff its hand-held business. The company announced after 7 p.m. EDT, that shareholders will receive shares in
as a tax-free stock dividend.
On July 27, 3Com shareholders of record on July 11, will receive about 1.5 shares of Palm for every share of 3Com, reported
. The California-based company owes 532 million shares, or about 94.3% of Palm's outstanding common stock.
Traders gave the tech stock the Jewish bride treatment, lifting it 5 3/4 to 49 1/2 on 17,000 shares on Island.
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.