On the radar
What to watch in the weeks ahead
By Telis Demos, Fortune reporter

(Fortune Magazine) -- Will Vonage insiders call their brokers?

A lot of people seem to think that Vonage, home to a deadweight stock and a raft of shareholder lawsuits over its flubbed IPO, is a big disaster. But do the Internet telecom's original backers - presumably those who know best-agree with that diagnosis? We'll find out starting on Nov. 20, when the post-IPO lockup period ends and they're eligible to sell. While a few directors have recently bought shares, analysts expect some of the VCs-funders include New Enterprise Associates and Bain Capital-to bail out. First, shares have tanked (to half the $17 IPO price). Second, the cost basis for their share grants averages out to only $3.29 a share. That would make for a tidy profit even if they sold at today's price. One who probably won't sell is founder Jeffrey Citron: He's a true believer in Vonage, and the 36-year-old, serial dot-com entrepreneur certainly doesn't need the dough. - Stephanie N. Mehta

Heated exchange

The first time Nasdaq tried to buy the London Stock Exchange, it blew it. Nasdaq's shares weren't quite enticing enough, and it didn't have the cash to make up the difference-so it had to settle for a 25.1% stake. Come October, British law says Nasdaq can make a play for the rest. Don't bet on any more rookie mistakes. While some pundits expect Nasdaq to barrel in with a hostile bid to overcome LSE CEO Clara Furse's desire to remain independent, look for Nasdaq to play it cool-at first. Nasdaq's stock has jumped since it initially went after LSE (up 20% since June 13), while LSE shares are down 5% from their May peak. Nasdaq isn't allowed to lower its original offer until next May, but at that point it might scoop up LSE at a bargain price. - Telis Demos

Coal takes its lumps

Get ready for a Texas-sized showdown over coal energy. Mayors from Houston and Dallas and public-interest groups are trying to block mega-utility TXU from building the first of 11 coal-burning power plants planned for the state by 2010. They say TXU isn't doing enough to reduce the carbon dioxide output. But TXU, citing Governor Rick Perry's backing, high gas and oil prices, and Texas's growing electricity crisis, says coal's the only feasible option right now. The two sides are set to face off in front of the top Texas regulatory board (appointed by Perry) starting Oct. 4. You can also read the latest Fortune stories on your handheld device at CNNMoney.mobi.

The futures market

Oct. 25 Boeing (Charts) reports Q3 results. Expect execs to face questions about the future of their big bet, the 787, without the departed Alan Mulally.

Oct. 30 The last movie of the Tom Cruise-Paramount era, M:i:III, comes out on DVD, Blu-Ray, and HD-DVD-a first for any film release.

Oct. 31 BP (Charts) told Congress its Alaska pipelines should be running at full steam again by this date. If it falls short, expect an oil-price spike.

Nov. 1 Levi's rolls out Eco jeans, made of 100% organic cotton. Levi's missed the luxury-jeans craze. Can this latest gambit-and a new CEO-catch it up?

Nov. 2 Microsoft (Charts) kicks off a gaming bonanza with a cheaper version of the Xbox in Japan. Also out in the U.S. this month: Sony's (Charts) PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii.

Jia Lynn Yang contributed to this article. Top of page