Whether it was a phone company employee or a NASDAQ staffer who plugged in the margarita blender a bit early on Friday, the trading snafu that struck the electronic exchange on Friday created real headaches for investors and companies trying to divine second quarter stock performance.

The last business day of the quarter was thrown into turmoil as NASDAQ trading was interrupted at 2:30 PM EDT by a network outage. It didn't help that the blunder came on the heavy trading day, when portfolio managers apply the final window dressing to their quarterly returns. The snafu also may have hindered traders trying to match their portfolios to reflect newly rebalanced Russell 2000 Indexes, which were scheduled to begin trading today.

Indeed, the confusion could continue on Monday, if rumors prove true that some investors and market makers may not have been able to execute orders at the prices they expected, despite NASDAQ keeping the market open an extra hour on Friday.

Scuttlebutt was that a telecoms technician tested a development system during the session, choking off the market's communications lines and causing nearly an hour delay. In any case, the blow-up produced anomalous closing prices and volumes for stocks tracked by BioCentury, particularly the small cap group.

As a result, BioCentury's weekly stocks page shows results calculated through Thursday. And this week's Ebb & Flow is listing both the Thursday close and Friday's price as listed by NASDAQ on Saturday.

BioCentury's quarterly tabulation of stock performance will be issued later in the week.

Noisemakers for newsmakers

Companies with news early last week may have found themselves drowned out by the hordes of announcements during the BIO 2001 annual convention in San Diego. But Friday's news from Adolor (ADLR), CV Therapeutics (CVTX) and Durect (DRRX) got caught in the NASDAQ noise, so that the final Street reaction may not be settled until this week.

ADLR announced post-market on Thursday that its ADL 8-2698 met its primary end points of recovery of GI function and time to hospital discharge in a Phase II study in patients with post-operative ileus, and the primary end point of time to recovery of GI function in a second Phase II trial. However, the product did not meet its secondary end point of time to hospital discharge in the latter study (see B12). The stock was off $1.33 to $24.37 on the week through Thursday, and its Friday close was listed at $21.60.

CVTX began a Phase III trial to assess the ability of its CVT-510 selective adenosine receptor agonist to convert patients with paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) to normal sinus rhythm (see B17). CVTX was listed Friday at $57, after gaining $2.78 to $52.78 through Thursday.

DRRX said its Chronogesic (formerly Duros sufentanil) gave significant improvements in pain control in a Phase II trial, and also reduced certain opioid side effects compared to patients' previous opioid therapies. The stock was off $2.20 through Thursday to $11.03. Its Friday close was listed at $12.32.