The U.S. preopen picture is mixed coming off yesterday's gigantic rally, even as overseas bourses head solidly higher. The Consumer Price Index, set for release at 8:30 a.m. EST, doubtless will provide some direction.

The

S&P 500 futures

on

Globex

lately were down 4.2 to 1473.8, more than 2 points below fair value. The thinly traded

Nasdaq 100

futures were down 12.5 to 4402.

Germany's

Xetra Dax

was again the top performer among Europe's major indices, up 2.9% at midday. France's

CAC 40

was up 1.9%, but the U.K.'s

FTSE 100

was up just 0.2%. Overnight in Asia, Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

surged 4.4%, while Japan's

Nikkei 225

added 1.6% (see today's

Asian Markets Update for more).

Not a lot of preopen news, as befits a semi-holiday Friday.

America Online

(AOL)

plans to buy out

Bertelsmann's

50% stake in

AOL Europe

and

AOL Australia

, paying $6.75 billion to $8.25 billion in an option-structured deal that delays payment until after Jan. 31, 2002. AOL was inactive on

Instinet

.

Last Night's After-Hours Trading

By Eric Gillin
Staff Reporter

Someone get

Bob Dole

on the horn!

Right before the end of trading, investors got all hot and bothered about

Vivus

(VVUS) - Get Report

, a California-based manufacturer of impotence fighting products. At 3 p.m. EST, the company announced that it received a patent on a new cream that will help keep men like Dole out of politics and in the bedroom. It works on the same chemistry as Viagra, using phosphodiesterase inhibitors to keep men happy.

After the news hit the street, Vivus stock rose quickly, ending with a gain of 2 3/32 to 8 23/32 on 5.9 million shares, with the majority of that volume occurring in the final 45 minutes. That momentum carried over into the night session. Vivus continued to get it on, gaining 5/16 to 8 15/16 on 1.2 million shares on

Island ECN

. Meanwhile, across town on

Instinet

, Vivus was the second-most active issue with a gain of 11/64 to 8 29/32 on 127,000 shares.

TST Recommends

Unibrows, dragging knuckles and protruding lower lips were all the rage. Put simply,

Komag

(KMAG)

was very popular with the postclose patrons after revising its fourth quarter in light of a pretty good income tax audit.

When the IRS was done sharpening its pencils, Komag came out owing nothing. Absolutely nothing. Thanks to the accounting redux, the company reduced its fourth-quarter tax liability by $27 million and promptly readjusted its fourth quarter earnings figures. Instead of the previously released net loss of 32 cents a share, the company posted a 9-cent gain. The fourth-quarter fix-up readjusted last year's fiscal numbers as well, replacing the previously announced loss of nearly $5 a share with a loss of $4.54.

Besides whiting out the green sheets, the company also let investors know that first-quarter shipments would exceed expectations by 12% to 18%.

As a result of all the news, it was a "turn back the clock" session for Komag. Its stock rose 1 3/4 to 5 9/16 on 312,000 shares on Island. It was even livelier on Instinet, gaining 1 11/16 to 5 1/2 on 118,991 shares.

Adobe Systems

had a pretty good day today, gaining 10 7/8, or 13%, to 94 7/16 ahead of tonight's earnings release. Investors felt good, no, make that giddy, at the end of the day, taking the stock from losses into session highs as the final bell pealed.

Well, tonight, the company released those earnings, beating estimates and last year's quarter with ease. Adobe's first-quarter earnings were 47 cents a share, beating 43-cent the

First Call/Thomson Financial

estimate and last year's 30 cents. So, what's the deal?

Well, sometimes when a company leaps 11 points during the day, there isn't anywhere left for it to go at night. Maybe the company can Photoshop something into tomorrow's picture because tonight's wasn't so pretty. It closed off 3 7/16 to 91 on 56,000 shares on Instinet. Island was even worse. Adobe dropped 5 5/16 to 89 1/4 on 45,000 shares.

Elsewhere on the earnings front,

Nike

(NKE) - Get Report

just did it over on

Instinet

. It rose 2 1/8 to 36 after closing up 11/16 to 33 7/8 on the NYSE.

Nike's third quarter came in at 52 cents a share, 2-cents better than the analyst pick and much better than last year's 44 cents.

Overall, tonight's session was a fairly calm one on the heels of the Dow's huge day and the Nasdaq's reversal. Many major names were left off of

Instinet

and

Island

most-active lists and took the night off. Those that did tempt investors traded in a mild fashion.

Take

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

as an example. It may have been the most-active issue on Instinet, but it only inched down 1/16 on fewer than 140,000 shares. That's just an extension of its day-session, where it was the second-most active Nasdaq issue, but finished unchanged at 95 3/8. Lots of shares in Mister Softee were trading hands, but not much was happening.

That's the deal with many of the bigger names. Shares traded hands, but not many of the moves were notable.

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

rose 19/64 to 131 31/32 on Instinet, inching higher after gaining 3 3/32 during the day.

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

slipped 3/16 on fewer than 50,000 shares on Instinet.

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

, which gained 3 5/16 to 81 15/16 during a hyperactive day session, eased about a half-point on both Island and Instinet.

Instead of buying the big names, maybe some of the late-night lurkers were checking out the NCAA action. No matter what the case, tonight's wings were mild.

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 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.

.

Confused?

TheStreet.com

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