Microsoft Fine May Be Less Than Feared

Microsoft may face a European Union fine that is much less than feared, according to news reports.

Wire services quoted unnamed sources as saying that Microsoft could face a fine of about $600 million, much less than the $3 billion maximum the company could get hit with in a ruling due out on Wednesday.

Microsoft shares slipped half a percent in extremely heavy trade on Monday, with 127 million shares changing hands, twice the stock’s daily average.

The company stands ready to appeal the ruling, which is likely to also contain restrictions on the Windows operating system.

The broader market was battered again Monday, this time on terrorism fears.

The Nasdaq lost 30 to 1909, the S&P 500 lost 14 to 1095, and the Dow fell 121 to 10,064. Volume rose to 1.45 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.99 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 25-7 on the NYSE, and 25-6 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 92% on the NYSE, and 88% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 71-29 on the NYSE, and 40-39 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, PalmOne beat estimates.

During the day, Global Crossing surged 13% on news of an investment from telecom investor Carlos Slim.

Dell edged higher on storage plans.

Taiwan Semi fell 9% on election turmoil in that country.

Dot Hill gained 3% on a storage deal with Sun .

eBookers plunged 30% on a downgrade and plans to sell shares.

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