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Preopen Trading: Optimism Shines Through in Positive Futures

Intel, Microsoft and Cisco prove popular with early bargain hunters.

Futures were gearing up to start the week off with some optimism after the grueling drops suffered last week.

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S&P 500 futures on


lately were up 1.4 points to 1322, about four points above fair value as calculated by

Prudential Securities

. The thinly traded

Nasdaq 100

futures were 13.5 points higher to 2586, or about 30 points above fair value as calculated by


Investors were scarce this morning in preopen trading -- sleeping off a weekend hangover, maybe?

Quaker Oats


finally got an acceptable proposal, after

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(PEP) - Get PepsiCo, Inc. Report

offered a bid of more than $13 billion in stock. Quaker has been the object of several suitors' affection because of its lucrative Gatorade line of sports drinks. Neither party had traded yet this morning on electronic brokerage





(INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report



(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report



(CSCO) - Get Cisco Systems, Inc. Report

were the blue-light specials this morning. The stocks suffered in last week's selloff and this morning bargain hunters were picking them up. Lately, Intel was up 87 cents from Friday's close to $35, Microsoft was $1.12 higher to $57.75 and Cisco was lifted 66 cents to $49.16.

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


2% lower, Germany's

Xetra Dax

dropping 1.5% and the U.K.'s

FTSE 100

off 0.8%. Meanwhile, Asian markets bounced on Nasdaq gains made Friday. Japan's

Nikkei 225

edged up 0.8% overnight, while Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

also rose 0.8%.

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