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The Night Watch: Yahoo! Slips Early in After Hours, but Later Regains Some Ground

Author:

Updated from 6:45 p.m. EDT

After dropping sharply in after-hours trading, shares of

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

recovered ground to end the extended-hours session only slightly lower. The tech bellwether, which traded as low as $104 on

Instinet

, traded recently at $108 -- still down from its $112.06 closing price. On

Island

ECN, Yahoo! finished up at $109.50.

The selloff began as reports of Yahoo!'s chief executive Tim Koogle's remarks made their way to the media. An early

Dow Jones

story suggested that Yahoo! sees a near-term decrease in advertising spending. Once Koogle's remarks were clarified, Yahoo! recouped most of its after-hours losses.

Addressing the

Robertson Stephens Internet Conference

, Koogle said "there is a period of consolidation under way and it's healthy" for the dot-com space. "We've been in it for about nine or 10 months. Companies and capital are getting rationalized. It will take a little of the upside away in the near term."

Concerns about the flagging market for online advertising have hurt Yahoo! over the past few weeks. On Aug. 28,

Lehman Brothers

analyst Holly Becker said that it was only a matter of time before the slowdown in dot-com spending would affect Yahoo's results. Additionally, an article in last Friday's

Wall Street Journal

echoed Becker's worries that the tech bellwether will suffer from a slowdown in online advertising.

The company is expected to report revenue of around $280 million for its third quarter, up from $270.1 million in the second quarter.

Today's court decision, the most recent development in

MP3.com's

(MPPP)

battle against the recording industry, has brought online music sellers to the forefront of tonight's extended-hours trading session.

This afternoon, a federal judge in New York declared that

MP3.com

(MPPP)

TheStreet Recommends

willfully infringed copyright law when the company offered music from

Universal Music Group's

compact discs on its Web site.

The court ordered MP3.com to pay Universal, which is owned by

Seagrams

(VO) - Get Report

, $25,000 per CD in damages. That award could reach as high as $250 million. MP3.com plans to appeal the court's ruling. (

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom

discussed the decision in a separate story.)

After halting for approximately 2 1/2 hours this afternoon, shares of MP3.com closed the session down 69 cents, or 8.03%, to $7.88. In recent trading on Instinet, the online music seller was down to $5.81. On Island ECN, shares of MP3.com were lately trading at $5.44.

In the dog-eat-dog world of online music selling, one supplier's misfortune presented itself as another seller's opportunity. The MP3.com decision was music to rival

Musicmaker.com's

(HITS)

ears. In reaction to the ruling, Musicmaker.com announced that its library of songs is fully licensed.

Most active on Island ECN, shares of Musicmaker.com were lately trading down 21 cents to $1.16. In recent trading on Instinet, the stock was trading at $1.25.

IVAX

(IVX)

, a manufacturer of branded and generic pharmaceuticals, has seen some action in tonight's session.

Today, the company announced that a California federal judge issued a ruling that could allow the company to soon begin selling a generic version of

Bristol Myers Squibb's

cancer drug, Taxol. IVAX last month received tentative approval from the

Food and Drug Administration

to begin selling its copycat drug.

IVAX was recently unchanged on Instinet, with 73,100 shares of the drug maker changing hands.

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.