Off-Hours Trading: Stocks Look Bit Stronger After a Day of Big Winners and Losers

Market participants will be keeping an eye on Microsoft for another day.
Publish date:

The Michigan State Spartans, the Yankees, the Mets, the Dow Jones Industrial Average.


Nasdaq Composite

, the

Florida Gators

, the


, the


and, of course,

Bill Gates


Yesterday was a day marked by winners and losers. And, while it might be a bit disingenuous to lump Gates in with the Anaheim (or wherever they're from these days) Angels, he certainly didn't have a banner day.

Gates' little tech company,


(MSFT) - Get Report

, was at the center of everything yesterday and its shares lost about 15 points as federal judge

Thomas Penfield Jackson

ruled that the company was, in fact, a monopoly.

For more on what happened to Mister Softee yesterday, take a look at



index page.

And Gates isn't really that much of a loser. He is, after all, a really, really rich guy, has a lovely home, and gets to live in scenic Washington. He did, however, lose over $10 billion yesterday. But today is another day and Microsoft shares are already looking like they will open a bit stronger. According to


, Microsoft shares were up about 1 1/2 to 92 1/4.

But Microsoft wasn't alone in feeling the pain yesterday. The tech-laden Nasdaq was off about 350 points. Where'd the money go? Why into the Dow of course. The Dow stocks gained 300.

Not to be outdone by all that Microsoft hoo-hah,


has created


index page with all of the market shake-up stories included. Go ahead, take a look. It's fun and their might be prizes. (Disclaimer: There are no prizes.)

The stock market was looking a little stronger today. In early action, the

S&P 500

June futures contract was up 2.3 to 1530.50. With fair value measured at -5.73, the open is looking good. The thinly traded

Nasdaq 100

June contract was up 50 to 4185.

Last Night's After-Hours Trading

By Eric Gillin
Staff Reporter

Got Linux?

Got anything to do with Linux?

Know how to say Linux?

Anything Linux-related rose heavily in after-hours trading as investors turn away from


(MSFT) - Get Report

in favor of one of its biggest sources of competition. Software makers, platform designers and major market names affiliated with Linux all put on the feed bag in postclose news.



, perhaps best known for its recent advance into the Linux market, rose 1 53/64 to 12 9/64 on 166,000 shares on


and 2 1/32 to 12 11/32 on 445,000 shares on





might have different characters, but essentially told the same story. It rose 1 97/256 to 8 1/8 on 20,000 shares on Island.

Red Hat


was a fashionable choice this evening, gaining 5 1/64 to 47 9/64 on 163,000 shares on Instinet and 5 1/4 to 47 1/4 on 309,000 shares on Island. This company makes an operating system that runs on Linux. It performs a similar function to Microsoft's Windows program with one glaring difference -- Red Hat's source code is open, meaning companies can look inside the guts of its programs to modify it.

Another Linux supporter,

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Report

rose 2 3/16 to 92 on 230,000 shares in after-hours trading on Instinet and 3 to 93 on 52,000 shares on Island.

Ahead of the Microsoft ruling, during the day session, these companies were fairly mixed, indicating that the turn towards Linux-related companies was a postclose phenomenon. Sun got killed along with the

Nasdaq Composite Index

, while Inprise and Red Hat were only marginally lower. Corel posted a decent gain, but nothing like tonight's leap. It looks like the late-night lurkers have found a favorite sector.

Outside of Linux, many larger tech names surfed a wave of goodwill in the wake of the Microsoft ruling.


(CSCO) - Get Report



(ORCL) - Get Report



(INTC) - Get Report

made noticeable recoveries.

Cisco, which closed at 72 15/16 after a 5.7% fall, traded up 1 21/64 to 74 17/64 on 353,000 shares on Instinet. It rose 1 7/16 to 74 7/16 on 51,000 shares on Island. Meanwhile, Oracle finished right behind it on the Instinet volume leaderboard, gaining 2 1/8 to 79 on 260,000 shares after edging 1.5% lower to 76 7/8 during the day. Across town, on Island, it rose 1 11/16 to 78 5/8 on 41,000 shares.

(Speaking of Oracle, the perennial software


to Microsoft's


took advantage of the ruling against Mister Softee to get some slightly marred licks in. Oracle's statement said, in part: "We hope that the remedies ultimately imposed or agreed upon will be commensurate with the seriousness of the violation of antitrust law which have now been determined by the court." That, of course, is ungrammatical. It has to be "violations ... have" or "violation ... has," but not the mishmash presented here. Better luck next verdict, folks.)

Intel, which took light lumps today considering its role in the battered semiconductor sector, was up higher in postclose activity. It rose 2 3/8 to 133 on 173,000 shares on Instinet and 2 3/4 to 133 1/4 on 15,000 shares on Island. Today, it recovered from early losses to finish down 1%. In comparison, its peers in the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

fell 7.4%.

Net names in the Internet Sector

index, which collectively fell 9.8%, dipping below the 1000 level, began putting their houses in order after putting up bricks during the day. Island was a safe-haven for DOT components.



, an 11.8% loser during the day, rose 1 5/8 to 101 5/8 on 17,000 shares, while


(EBAY) - Get Report

, an 18.6% loser, rose 7 3/8 to 150 5/8 on 17,000 shares.


(BVSN) - Get Report

wasn't quite as bad at 4 p.m., but still smarted from a 2.5% drop. It rose 1 11/16 to 78 5/8 on 41,000 shares this evening.




was the Lord of the Flies, providing some Island leadership with a gain of 3 15/16 to 164 on 17,000 shares after falling 11 points during the day.






had the kind of days that would send

Dennis Hopper

back into the woods with a satchel of chemical substances. Both dropped more than 20%. Well, someone tell Dennis to hop off the Harley. Emulex rose 15/16 to 84 1/16 on 16,00 shares while VerticalNet rose 2 3/4 to 55 1/4 on 14,000 shares.

For a close look at Microsoft's postclose trading, check out a Night Watch Extra.

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. EDT.


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