Ralston-Purina

( RAL) was flying in premarket action, trading on news that the pet food company will be sold to Swiss food giant

Nestle

(NSRGY) - Get Report

. A handful of other stocks were moving sharply in the early going, while futures trading indicates the market is likely to open flat.

Nestle is expected to pay $10.3 billion, or $33.50 a share, to buy the business, which would be called Nestle Purina Pet Care. The purchase price represents a 36% premium over Ralston's Friday closing price of $24.63. Lately, the shares were traded at $31.75, up $7.13, a 29% gain. It was the most active stock on electronic trading network

Instinet

, with 20,100 shares traded.

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Meanwhile, the

S&P 500 futures were lately traded at 1326.20, down 3.3 points, and about half a point below

fair value. The

Nasdaq 100

futures were traded at 2530, down 10 points, or less than a point above fair value. Fair value is a measure of where stocks may open the regular session; this small a change in value indicates very little, however.

Among other active stocks in preopen action were chip giant

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

, lately traded at $32.38, up 25 cents, on 15,000 Instinet shares, making it the second most active this morning.

Troubled business machine company

Xerox

(XRX) - Get Report

, meanwhile was rising in early action, despite no news on the company. The stock was up 69 cents, or 9%, to $8.50 on 10,000 Instinet shares. Also active was

OpenTV

( OPTV), gaining $1.31 to $14.38 on 10,000 Instinet shares.

European markets were generally weak. Paris'

CAC-40

lost 63.93 to 5769.45, and Frankfurt's

Xetra Dax

fell 57.68 to 6465.19. In London, the

FTSE

fell 76.1 to 6094.2.

Asian markets were stronger. Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

rose 69.39 to 15363.15, and Tokyo's

Nikkei 225

rose 78.22 to 13584.45.

For more on post-close trading, see Friday's Night Watch.