It may be a short week, but it's had its fair share of ups and downs.

Tuesday was the up and yesterday was a bit of the down. And this morning, it looks like stocks are poised to make a slight return to the positive side of things.

In early action, the

S&P 500 June futures contract was trading up 3.8, about 1.5 points above fair value. The

Nasdaq 100

June contract was up 31, suggesting some modest buying of tech names.

But despite how things look right at the open, most market watchers will be watching for the release of the National Association of Purchasing Managers May

report. Stocks have been quiet this morning in Europe ahead of today's data and the closely watched May

employment report, scheduled for release tomorrow morning.

Oh, and was that just

Sylvia Wadwa

tossing back a cold one and scarfing down a pretzel on


? And

Joe Kernan's

talking about chomping down rats! Now


good TV!

Yesterday's After-Hours Trading

By Angela Privin
Staff Reporter

It is lonely at the top.

Tonight's top three stocks on Island ECN, were

American Power Conversion



Official Payments



OAO Technology Solutions


. If the three companies placed personal ads, this is what they would enjoy doing, sunset walks on the beach, sipping margaritas in the rain and announcing partnerships that boost share prices.

American Power Conversion makes surge protector equipment. It has customized an unattended shutdown function for Microsoft Windows 2000 in case of extended power outages and is built-in to Window's UPS support works. It was also selected today by Microsoft as the exclusive power protection sponsor for Microsoft's biggest annual technical user conference, to be held June 4-7 in Florida.

The Rhode Island tech company must also have surge protectors on its stock price, because gains on the news were a paltry 9/16 to 35 7/16 on more than 30 million shares. Night traders were even less impressed, sending the stock down 7/16 to 35 on 414,000


shares. However, it rose 5/64 to 35 7/16 on 115,000 Island shares.

OAO Technology Solutions joined forces with



Canada. Now, Sprint Canada can package and resell OAOT's IT consulting and integration services as part of a communications package offered to consumers. OAOT provides hardware, software, consulting, integration, security, financing, and support services.

Investors returned the support, lifting the company 7/16 or 16% by day and another 7/16 at night to 3 1/2 on more than 200,000 shares.

Sometimes phone calls can be painful. Especially if they involve handing over chunks of cash to the government.

Official Payments brings together the beloved telephone and the hated tax bill with a dial and pay process, using credit cards. Hundreds of local governments in the U.S. offer the service and today Champaign County, IL became one more place where people can reach out and pay some taxes. The program will assist Champaign County in collection of $155 million annually in real estate taxes, where the average bill is $2,300.

OPAY rang up 1/32 by day but fell 1/32 to 4 1/32 on 300,000 Island shares.

SuperQ's shiny face has not only become an evening staple, but was the most active stock on Nasdaq for the third day in a row.


(QCOM) - Get Report

opportunities for growth in China has been the buzz behind the wireless company's ubiquity. Check out's


article to find out more.

Tonight Q was up 3/8 on lukewarm popularity, and traded at 66 7/8 on 70,000 Island shares.

Good news for one ticket hawker is bad news for another. For


, the competition has been brutal.

Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch


said Tuesday it bought privately held


in an all-stock deal worth $35.2 million. The deal lets the company move into ticketing for local activities and events. reacted with a 12% fall today and continued its descent into the dark on Island. It was lately down 1/4 to 2 5/8 on 14,000 shares. (Ticketmaster Online today rose 1 3/16, or 7%, to 18 1/8; it hadn't traded after hours.)

Besides selling tickets on the phone and over the Internet, also provides in-house ticketing software to entertainment venues. The software also helps promote events and collects and analyzes customer demographic data.

Just like movies have ratings and some CDs are labeled for strong language, the following talk comes with a "message board" warning. Anyone can post anything in stock chatrooms, and most of the chatter is strong personal opinion, heartfelt expletives and, (very) occasionally, a prescient bit of news.

Brooks Automation

(BRKS) - Get Report

is one of the only stocks that moved more than a point tonight, but on no apparent news. It was lately up 3 1/4 to 43 1/8 on 40,000 Island shares and up 3 1/4 to 43 on 40,000 Instinet shares.

Brooks supplies tool and factory automation products for the semiconductor, flat-panel display and data storage industries. On May 23,

FS Van Kasper

initiated coverage with a buy recommendation because it saw potential for the company to corner a market with one of its products.

Now, on to sketchier sources. Rumor on the


message boards was that Brooks will beat revenue estimates because of lower-than-projected margins. Another explanation for the mysterious buying is the stock's late plunge of 10 1/4, or 20%, to 39 3/4 during the day.

Yet one more chatroom message claimed that the company's CFO said no news accounted for the late-day drop and indicated that the quarter was on track for revenue expectations. Brooks Automation didn't immediately return a call for comment.

This information is provided by Instinet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reuters (RTRSY) . For further information, please contact Instinet at

Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT.


explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.