Thursday night markets have something in common with Thursday night television. Both were rather dull, dreary and boring after once showing so much potential and promise. Somewhere, non-traders are nodding off to a substandard ER, another insipid Friends episode or the mind-numbingly awful Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
Because they weren't flocking to the electronic exchanges like
, where stocks can trade even when the big boys have taken the trains home from Wall Street. With volume so light, stocks were either within pennies of their 4 p.m. closes, or making an exaggerated move.
Fewer than six million shares have changed hands on Instinet, where
tops the leaderboard. The optical switch maker rose 25 cents to $24 on Instinet, adding more to its day session gain of 1.6%. The company traded on 250,500 shares, but really, nothing has happened in a very long time. Just after the Instinet session opened at 4 p.m., around 250,000 shares traded in the company. Over the next two hours, it racked up 500 shares of interest while nothing else moved.
Large-cap tech did a whole lot of nothing in post-close activity. On Instinet,
were all unchanged.
posted marginal gains.
have settled their patent infringement lawsuit. Openwave, a company featuring the combined might of both Phone.com and Software.com, announced an agreement with Geoworks, a mobile data communications service outfit, that would put the pair into a strategic partnership instead of a costly courtroom battle.
Everybody trade patents. Nobody get sued. Openwave gets a license to Geoworks' Flexible User Interface patent and another patent to be named later in the next 18 months. In exchange, Geoworks gets the licensing rights to Openwave's narrowband content handling patent and another patent to be named later.
And, judging from the press release, everybody has kissed and made up.
"We are very pleased to have resolved our differences and now look forward to opening a new and positive chapter in our relationship with Geoworks," stated Alan Black, Openwave's CFO. Meanwhile, Adam de Boor, chief technology officer of Geoworks, said, "We are looking forward to a new and mutually beneficial relationship with Openwave, and the opportunities for us to collaborate toward mobilizing the power of information."
Geoworks rose $1.66 on Island on the news. Again, it is worth noting that the number of shares traded, 145,261, is so small that the move is most likely an exaggeration, especially given Geoworks' super teeny market cap below $27 million -- or just under the price of a bleacher seat at
Fenway Park these days.
This information is provided by Instinet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reuters (RTRSY) . For further information, please contact Instinet at www.instinet.com.
Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.