The reason that this stock went down is that today is the first day that we could sell and not have to pay taxes for calendar year 1999. For example, I bought this stock for $25.48 and had no intention of letting the IRS tax me at this point. The more interesting question is, as you said, why did the price rise $10 in one day. The news released that day did not seem to be compelling.
mid cap mutual fund that already owned the stock, buying more of a very thinly traded stock to make returns look good for year end. A lot of funds live by the year end returns published in just about every paper and financial magazine in January. Good performance leads to big inflows. The scenario would make more sense if it had happened on 12/31 instead of 12/0 though.