The Night Watch: Yahoo! Edges Down; Ariad Leaps on Venture Sale

The intraday pain continued for Yahoo! and some other top tech names, while pharma company Ariad improved.
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Saved by the bell? Where's

Screech? Where's Tiffani-Amber Thiessen? Where's that clueless principal?

No saving today.

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

wore a crimson mask and extended its nearly 32-point slide past day's end. It fell 5 in moderate trading on

Island

ECN.

Other Net and tech issues felt the pain in after-hours Island action as well.

CMGI

(CMGI)

, which dropped 10% during the day, fell 11 to 284 in after-hours.

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

dropped 2 3/4 to 110. B2Bers fared poorly.

Commerce One

(CMRC)

dropped 2 3/16 to 215 3/4, while

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

dropped 1 13/16 to 105 7/8.

The once mighty have truly fallen. Witness

Qualcomm's

(QCOM) - Get Report

drop of 3 3/16 to 159.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals

(ARIA)

calmly stepped past the blood in the Street and jumped 2 1/2 to 5 1/2 on volume of about five million shares on Island.

Just before the closing bell, the Cambridge, Mass., drugmaker announced the sale of its 50% stake in the

Hoechst-Ariad Genomics Center

to

Aventis Pharmaceuticals

(AVE)

.

The deal makes Aventis the sole owner of the center. Per the terms of the deal, Ariad will receive $40 million in cash, the return of three million shares of its own Class-B stock and forgiveness of $2 million in long-term debt that was held by Aventis. In addition to the fiscal forgiveness, stock and cash, Ariad also receives the right to use the technology stemming from the four years of joint osteoporosis research.

Originally, Ariad announced its intentions to end the venture with Aventis in November along with its third-quarter earnings. After negotiations, the deal was closed on New Year's Eve. Ariad CEO Harvey Berger said the finalization helped spur interest in the company. He added that one of the most attractive parts of the deal was the inclusion of technology and science created during the joint venture with Aventis.

"This is an excellent deal for us," he said. "We get the drug candidates for osteoporosis and we get all of the products back. We get the right to all of the technology from the joint venture with Aventis. We got an excellent transaction."

Ariad had been linked to Aventis in a number of different joint ventures, but the sale of the Hoechst-Ariad Genomics Center makes the break complete. Gerber said the two companies are no longer working together.

Red Hat

(RHAT)

may have dropped 16 points during the day session and

VA Linux

(LNUX)

may have dropped 12. So what?

Even if the name brands had a tough day, other companies are still capable of getting a good rub just for being associated with

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

Windows' biggest competition. Tonight,

Powercerv

(PCRV)

announced that its next version of ERP Plus software will be Linux-compliant and rose 4 5/8 to 10 1/2, making a late surge.

Tops Appliance City

(TOPS) - Get Report

, a chain of nine retail stores in the New York/New Jersey area, traded in unusually heavy volume on Island. It was last up 1/32 to 25/32 on 420,000 shares. During the day session, this mighty mite gained 53%, which is really a gain of 1/4 to 3/4.

There was no news moving the stock and the company couldn't be reached for comment.

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

.

MarketXT, formerly Eclipse Trading, offers after-hours trading to retail clients of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's (MWD) Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Online and Mellon Bank's (MEL) Dreyfus Brokerage Services. Clients can trade 200 of the most actively traded New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market issues, 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday through Thursday.

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.