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Preopen Trading: Downside Pressure Builds Before Open

Abbott Labs climbs while Oracle continues its fall.
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In premarket action,

Abbot Labs


was buzzing at $46.50, up $3.25 from Friday's closing price of $43.25. Last week, the drug maker received approval from the

Food and Drug Administration Approval

for its HIV cocktail Kaletra.



was also getting connected in the early going after

The Wall Street Journal

reported that

British Telecom


and the U.S. long distance carrier would negotiate merging some of their businesses. AT&T was lately trading at $32.25, unchanged from Friday's finish.

Elsewhere in the tech sector,


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continues to lose ground after last week's first-quarter earnings report. Although the software giant's numbers beat the street's estimates, software sales were slower than expected. Oracle was at $78.25, down 6 cents from Friday's close of $78.31.

Stocks are set for downticks at the opening bell. The

S&P 500 futures on


lately were off 2.20 to 1481.30, about 4 points below fair value as calculated by

Prudential Securities

. Fair value is a good gauge of how stocks will perform in the early going.


Nasdaq 100

futures were down 20.50 points to 3698.00, about 37 points below fair value, as calculated by

, and indicating that tech stocks are poised to open to the downside.

Europe's major indices were tentatively mixed, with France's

CAC 40

down 1.3%, Germany's

Xetra Dax

down 0.8% and the U.K.'s

FTSE 100

0.1% higher. Japan's

Nikkei 225

lost 0.9% overnight, while Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

slipped 4.2% and Korea's


plunged 8% (see today's

Asian Markets Update for more).