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Preopen Trading: Ready for a Change? Nasdaq Set to Fly Higher

As the naming of a U.S. president nears, futures trade higher and overseas markets rise.

It looks like markets are going to open much higher.

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S&P 500

futures on


, an electronic exchange specializing in currency and index options and futures, were up 11 to 1341, putting them about 14 points higher than

fair value as calculated by

Prudential Securities

. Futures for the large-cap

Nasdaq 100

were up 77.5 to 2635, about 76 points higher than fair value as calculated by


Yesterday's double whammy ruling from both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Leon County Circuit Court in Florida, both of which ruled against the Gore team's quest for a recount, was pushing these futures higher. Now all Gore has left is one final appeal to the Florida Supreme Court. As a Bush win of the White House looms in the not-so-distant future, markets are getting happy that a victor, any victor, will be decided sooner than later. It was one month ago today that voters went to the polls.

It also looks like the

Nasdaq is going to shake off a pair of earnings warnings that were issued after the close yesterday by networking company

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. Last night, 3Com said its second quarter would miss expectations, citing lower-than-expected sales as the telecommunications industry shows strong signs of slowing. Xilinx, a popular chipmaker and component of the

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

, cut its third-quarter revenue growth number to a range between 5% and 7% from its previously announced 12% target.

Overseas, European markets were positively giddy, following the upswing in futures. London's


was up 97 to 6356 just prior to midday. Paris'


was up 119 to 5911, while Germany's

Xetra Dax

was gaining 123 to 6531.

And in Asia, the picture was a mixed one. Following yesterday's late-day weakness in the Nasdaq, Japan's

Nikkei 225

slipped 259.68 to 14,695.05. But Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

bucked that trend and tracked 13.97 higher to 14,573.21.

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