The Night Watch: Stocks Pop After Hours on Florida Judge's Ruling

Shares seen as benefiting from a Bush presidency -- such as Microsoft and Philip Morris -- have a nice evening.
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Publish date:

(Updated from 7:40 p.m. EST)

News that

Leon County Circuit Court Judge Sanders Sauls

has rejected

Vice President Al Gore's

contest to the vote certification in Florida gave a boost to

Texas Gov. George W. Bush's

campaign and, on the night watch, to stocks expected to profit from his presidency.

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Last week, Gore attorneys sued for a partial manual recount in Florida. In his ruling this evening, Judge Sauls dismissed Gore's request for a recount of thousands of disputed ballots, saying the Democrats "had failed to carry their requisite burden of proof" in the case. Minutes after the ruling, the Gore team said it would appeal this decision to the

Florida Supreme Court

.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

popped 6.1% on

Instinet

and 7.3% on

Island

ECN, while

Philip Morris

(MO) - Get Report

lifted 4.4% on Instinet. Dogged by litigation, it is believed both companies would benefit from a Bush presidency.

Because any step that takes the election impasse closer to closure is welcomed by the market, other stocks advanced as well in extended action. Large-cap technology stocks

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

and

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) - Get Report

retraced their losses in extended trading. Intel, down 3.5% by day, gained 5.5% on Instinet and 5.7% on Island. Cisco, behind 5.5% during the regular session, advanced 4.5% on Instinet and Island.

But for the companies weighed down by profit woes -- specialty chipmaker

Xilinx

(XLNX) - Get Report

and networking systems provider

3Com

(COMS)

-- the postclose session was nothing but trouble.

After the closing bell, Xilinx slashed its third-quarter forecast for revenue growth, citing weaker-than-expected orders from several large North American customers.

The semiconductor manufacturer lowered its revenue guidance to 5% to 7% from 12%, sending its shares down 7.8% on Island and 8.5% lower on Instinet. The company added that bookings from Europe, Japan and Southeast Asia remain on track for the third quarter.

Just last week, specialty chipmaker

Altera

(ALTR) - Get Report

lowered its fourth-quarter revenue forecast, citing sluggish November sales, and subsequently crippling the

Nasdaq Composite Index.

In other news, networking systems provider

3Com

(COMS)

warned of lower-than-expected sales and earnings in the second quarter, noting weakness in the telecommunications sector.

3Com expects revenue for the second quarter of about $785 million to $800 million, below the $870 million and $910 million the company had previously forecast. The company anticipates a pro forma loss of 19 cents to 23 cents a share, much wider than the previously targeted loss of 7 to 9 cents a share. The

First Call/Thomson Financial

estimate called for 3Com to lose 8 cents a share. The news has taken 3Com's stock down 27% on Island and 27.2% lower on Instinet.

Want a heads-up on how the market will open tomorrow? Most recently, the

S&P 500 futures on

Globex

were up 11.5 to 1342, about 15 points above

fair value and indicating some positive sentiment for Tuesday's start. The

Nasdaq 100 Securities

were ahead 85.5 to 2559, about 84 points above fair value and -- despite tonight's negative preannouncements -- showing some upward pressure for the Nasdaq's open tomorrow.

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.

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.