Expect the following technology stocks to be among Monday's most actively traded issues: Amazon.com, Global Crossing, Healtheon, Hewlett-Packard, K-Tel International, Plantronics and Zapata.
Amazon is offering 50 percent discounts on best-selling books in a move that could start a price war with Barnesandnoble.com.
Amazon said the moves are designed to pass along cost savings to the customer. "This is not a sale, this is not a promotion -- this is everyday low pricing," said Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, in a statement.
The price cuts may be good for consumers, but bad for investors. Wall Street may focus on the rising expenses, shrinking margins and ever-present losses.
The builder of international fiber optic networks and US West Inc. (NYSE: USW) confirmed Monday that they would merge in a stock swap that has been valued at $37 billion. Global Crossing rose 1 3/8 to 61 3/8 and US West rose 2 1/4 to 62 1/4.
The healthcare software company is in talks to merge with WebMD, reported the Bloomberg News on Friday, citing sources familiar with the matter. Healtheon rose 10 to 57.
Hewlett-Packard will announc its second-quarter earnings Monday. First Call consensus expects the PC and accessory manufacturer to earn 80 cents a share in the quarter.
In the year-ago quarter, it made $685 million, or 65 cents a share, on sales of $12 billion.
Hewlett-Packard shares closed off 2 13/16 to 84 3/16 Friday.
The stock surged up to a 52-week high of 87 7/8 last week after falling to a low of 47 1/16 in August.
Last quarter, H-P pocketed $960 million, or 92 cents a share, on sales of $11.9 billion.
Nineteen of the 26 analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."
K-Tel International investors are probably ruing the day they jumped on this one-hit wonder. The online music retailer, famous for selling albums on late-night television and lately the Internet, posted a third-quarter loss of $4.7 million, or 50 cents a share Friday.
There was no First Call consensus estimate in the quarter, but the loss was much wider than the $1 million, or 12 cents a share, it lost in the year-ago quarter.
Back in November, K-Tel shares were red hot, peaking at 39 1/8. But the stock has collapsed in recent months, closing down 5/32 to 8 1/32 Friday.
Company officials said the disappointing results were caused by reduced sales in Germany and continued heavy investment in the company's online operations.
Plantronics, the world's leading manufacturer of communication headsets, said Friday that chairman Robert Cecil would resign and not seek reelection to the board of directors.
Plantronics shares closed off 1 3/4 to 65 1/8 Friday.
Cecil had been the company's CEO from 1992 through January.
The stock hit a high of 87 1/2 in January after falling to a 52-week low of 42 5/8 last May.
All four analysts following the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy."
The fish oil and protein, meat casing, oh yes, and Internet company reported earnings of 3 cents a share, down from a year-ago profit of 27 cents a share. Zapata rose 1/8 to 8 11/16.
-Eric C. Fleming contributed to this report.>