H-P Higher, Compaq Lower As Families Knock Merger

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The spread between the price of



shares and



continued to widen Wednesday after some major shareholders came out against the companies' union.

In premarket trading on Instinet, shares of Hewlett-Packard were recently gaining 39 cents, or 2%, to $20.20, while shares of Compaq were falling 60 cents, or 7%, to $7.90.

The divergence could reflect investor skepticism that the deal will be consummated. That prospect was supported Tuesday when various family members of Hewlett-Packard's founders said they'd vote against the merger. The members are said to control about 5% of the company's outstanding shares.