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Preopen Trading: Holiday Cheer -- Signs Point to Positive Open

Litton is the big gainer in preopen trading, thanks to Northrop takeover.

Investors and traders gearing up for the long holiday weekend can take at least a little cheer with them from the market. Signs this morning are pointing to a positive start of the trading day.

Almost all the most active stocks on


, the brokerage where investors can get in their trades before the opening bell, are in positive territory. The biggest gainer is

Litton Industries

(LIT) - Get Free Report

, which is being acquired by

Northrop Grumman

(NOC) - Get Free Report

for $5.1 billion in cash, including the assumption of $1.3 billion in debt. Litton was climbing 22.2% to $76.50. Los Angeles-based Northrop said yesterday afternoon that it will pay $80 a common share and $35 per Series B preferred share to make Woodland Hills, Calif.-based Litton a wholly owned subsidiary. The common-stock offer price for Litton represents a 27.7% premium above Thursday's close.

took a look at

the deal.

Other gainers in the preopen market include



, up 12.8%, and


(CIEN) - Get Free Report

, up 3.1%.

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At 7:31 a.m., futures for the large-cap

Nasdaq 100

were up 23 to 2305.50, putting them 46.29 points above

fair value, as calculated by


S&P 500 futures were up 3.6 to 1291.60, putting them about 2 points above fair value, as calculated by

Prudential Securities

. Fair value helps gauge how stocks will trade in early action.

Asian markets squeaked higher. In Hong Kong, the

Hang Seng

was up 0.5%, while the

Nikkei 225

gained just 0.03%. European markets, which are still trading, are mixed. The


in Paris is down 0.19% and the German


is up 0.29%. In London, the


is up 0.29%.

For more information about overseas markets, check out's

page of data on

global stock market indices.

For more on after-hours trading, see Thursday's

Night Watch column, a regular feature that tracks the postclose market.