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

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

, which is being acquired by

Northrop Grumman

(NOC) - Get 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 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.