(Updated from 7:46 p.m.)

Large-cap technology goblins came out tonight, if only to taunt the after-hours trading market.

During the regular session, tech stocks -- which have sustained big losses over the past couple of days -- sweetened significantly. The

Nasdaq Composite Index pocketed 178.2 points, or 5.6%, to close the day at 3369.6.

Postclose patrons, who have likely already headed for Halloween costume parties and parades, did not have much incentive to trade tonight. After all, company news has tapered now that the third-quarter earnings season is just about over. And as the late night crowd knows well, when the headlines slow, so too does trading.

Nonetheless, as trick-or-treaters started going from door to door, twilight investors in big tech issues got spooked.

In recent action, shares of

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Report

, the most actively traded stock on the Nasdaq during the regular session, retreated. After gaining 12.1% today, Cisco slid 72 cents, or 1.33%, to $53.16 on

Island

ECN and declined 50 cents, or 0.9%, to $53.38 on

Instinet

. Cisco's daytime gains came on the heels of a selloff yesterday, when

Lehman Brothers

slashed its price target on the company to a range of $60 to $65 from $90.

Intel's

(INTC) - Get Report

stock, which had no price movement today, lost 26 cents, or 0.58%, to $44.74 on Island and shed 44 cents, or 1%, to $44.56 on Instinet.

Even if shares of Intel stayed flat during the day, the chipmaker was the ghost that haunted semiconductor stock

Rambus

(RMBS) - Get Report

before the sun went down. Rambus' stock tumbled 15.9% today, after online trade magazine

Electronic Buyers' News

reported that Intel would phase out its use of Rambus technology. In extended trading on Island, Rambus was the most active stock on the electronic trading network. It recouped $1.31, or 2.92%, to $46.25.

Communications giant

WorldCom

(WCOM)

lost 6 cents, or 0.26%, to 23.69 on Island. WorldCom's stock price -- which lost 4.52% today -- is now down about 50% since the beginning of the year.

Fellow communications stocks

Nextel Communications

(NXTL)

and

Ericsson

(ERICY)

also moved in extended-hours trading. Up 11.8% on the day, Nextel slipped 6 cents, or 0.2%, to $38.38 on Instinet. Ericsson, which also gained upwards of 11% today, extended its gains by 6 cents, or 0.5%, to $13.94 on Instinet.

Optical components manufacturer

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

, an after-hours favorite, was getting mixed messages after it popped 14.2% today. It increased 6 cents, or 0.1%, to $81.50 on Instinet, but decreased 19 cents, or 0.23%, to $81.25 on Island.

Shares of

Sharper Image

(SHRP)

, a big gainer in tonight's session, boosted $1.75, or 9.21%, to $20.75. After the bell, the retailer announced that it expects to report third-quarter earnings ahead of Wall Street's estimates.

Want a heads up on how the market will open tomorrow? At last look, the

S&P 500 futures on

Globex

were down 0.49 to 1435.3, about four points below

fair value as calculated by

Prudential Securities

, and indicating mildly negative pressure for the broad market at tomorrow's open. The thinly traded

Nasdaq 100

futures were behind 10 to 3290, about 18 points below fair value as calculated by

TheStreet.com

, and showing some negative vibes for the Nasdaq's start on Wednesday.

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. EDT.

Confused?

TheStreet.com

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

Senior markets editor Ellen Braitman chats with Christopher Edmonds, columnist for RealMoney.com, exclusively on TheStreet.com at 3 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Nov. 1. Join them with your market and investment questions by logging on our home page.