News that



was in talks to buy

Intermedia Communications


was the big attention-grabber this morning in preopen trading on


. It was sending



, in which Intermedia has a 54% stake, up 50 cents to $85. Intermedia was traded at $34.38, a big jump from its Friday close of $22.88. Worldcom hadn't traded on Instinet this morning.

Also on Instinet,

Terra Networks


, a provider of Internet access and content in Spanish- and Portugese-speaking countries, was up $1.50 to $44.50. Terra's merger with Internet portal



is expected to close next month.


Niagara Mohawk


was fetching a bid of $14.50, up 62 cents, on news that

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was going to buy the company for $3 billion.

At 7:45 a.m. EDT, futures were declining, but indicating more of a flat opening than a down one.

S&P 500 futures were up 0.10 to 1523.40, in line with fair value as calculated by

Prudential Securities

. The thinly traded

Nasdaq 100

futures were down 3 to 4115, almost 12 points above fair value, as calculated by

, and indicating that investors will be buying tech stocks when the market opens. Fair value is a good gauge of how stocks will trade in early action.

Europe's major indices were down at midsession, with France's

CAC 40

0.6% lower, Germany's

Xetra Dax

down 0.2% and the U.K.'s

FTSE 100

off 0.4%. Japan's

Nikkei 225

lost 1.4% overnight, while Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

slipped 0.4% (see today's

Asian Markets Update for more).

For Friday's postclose trading, see The Night Watch.