The stock market is looking to bounce back from yesterday's wounding as futures were pointing to a slightly stronger opening.

Yesterday, the stock market,

Bill Bradley


John McCain

all got walloped about equally. But the difference is that the stock market gets to come back and fight another day.

It's less certain if those other two guys will be around much longer.

Yeah, it was sure ugly yesterday. How bad was it? Look here.

But the first rule to investing in (and covering, for that matter) the stock market is that the markets go up and the markets go down. At 9:30 a.m. EST, everyone gets back at it and there are indications that things will bounce back a little bit today.

In futures, the

S&P 500

March contract was recently quoted up 5.8 to 1357.60, about at fair value. The thinly traded

Nasdaq 100

March contract was up 26.5 to 4419.

The market's attention will be fixed on several sectors today. Yesterday, the consumer products sector was dragged down by

Procter & Gamble

(PG) - Get Report

. But on the upside, oil stocks gushed.

Last Night's After-Hours Trading

By David A. Gaffen
Staff Reporter

Archie Bunker

used to call 'em bureaucraps, but after-hours trading tonight is all about the good things government has done. And no, it has nothing to do with

Alan Keyes

. Yes, he is still campaigning.

A message came from the Great

(BYND) - Get Report

, which said postclose that its $15 million, 15-month contract with the

Internal Revenue Service

had been renewed. The company, along with

Intellisys Technology

, delivers and maintains


(MSFT) - Get Report

software for approximately 130,000 computers within the IRS, one of which undoubtedly has its sights trained on you

TheStreet Recommends

right now


Anyway, the contract lets the IRS use software to distribute and manage software products across the Internet to its various sites. rose 2 19/32 to 7 11/16 on 3.98 million






announced that the U.S. district court in San Jose, Calif., dismissed two federal class-action lawsuits filed against Read-Rite and its officials. The suits were filed by shareholders that purchased the stock during 1995 and 1996 (back when the stock price didn't match an ostrich's hat size -- it traded in the 40s in mid-1995). The first suit cannot be filed again, the court said.

The stock lately was up 3/4 to 3 31/32 on 845,700 Island shares. No word on whether the IRS was planning on taking its whacks at the company next.

Shares of

Moyco Technologies


, a manufacturer of professional dental supplies (like that thing that sucks all the saliva out of your mouth), were being treated like the school bully was assigned to tighten your braces.

The company said it received purchase orders from connector companies for its products -- namely, abrasive films for polishing fiber-optic connectors. Investors were unmoved, or more accurately, moved to sell -- shares were down 9/16 to 7 1/8 on 133,000 shares.

Let's relight this candle?


(AMTD) - Get Report

shares were down in after-hours action, trading lately at 20 1/2, down 1/16 on 2,000



Ameritrade canceled its after-hours trading session yesterday because of problems with its trading network, spokespeople for the company said today.

"The extended-hours session was canceled because the market destinations were unable to facilitate trades," the company said in a statement.

News of a more prosaic nature was driving

Comverse Technology



The company said its fourth-quarter profit rose 56%, due to strong demand for its communications software systems. The company posted operating earnings of 60 cents a share for the fourth quarter, compared with 44 cents a year earlier.

Shares were up earlier to 230, but the company is no longer among the MarketXT's 10 most active.

Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.


MarketXT, formerly Eclipse Trading, offers after-hours trading to retail clients of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's (MWD) Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Online, Mellon Bank's (MEL) Dreyfus Brokerage Services and clients of Salomon Smith Barney. It is also available to clients of, CyBerCorp and Interactive Brokers. Clients can trade 200 of the most actively traded New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market issues, 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday through Thursday.


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