Techs could be mixed Wednesday on earnings news and mergers and acquisition talks. Asia and Europe took a breather, and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.
Diversification is the word of the day. According to the Wall Street Journal, CMGI (Nasdaq:CMGI) has entered talks to buy Alta Vista, Shopping.com, and Zip2.com from Compaq Computer Corp.(NYSE: CPQ), which would turn the Internet investment firm into a Web media outlet.
Meanwhile, PC maker Gateway (NYSE: GTW) is also talking about moving more into Internet territory by buying Earthlink Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: ELNK), according to the Journal.
Qwest Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: QWST) is still waffling over whether to raise its bid for U.S. West Corp. (NYSE: USW) and Frontier Corp. (NYSE: FRO) in a battle to win them from Global Crossing (Nasdaq: GBLX).
And there's a lot of earnings news to digest. Technology stocks expected to move on earnings Wednesday include Cyberian Outpost (Nasdaq: COOL), which reported a smaller-than-expected loss, and Manugistics Group Inc.(Nasdaq: MANU), which had its first profitable quarter in more than a year.
Verity (Nasdaq: VRTY) which also blew away analysts' estimates, and 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) surprised Wall Street Tuesday when it reported better-than-expected sales and earnings in its fourth quarter.
Expected to report after the bell today is Micron Technology (NYSE: MU).
On the economic front, a commerce report to be released today concludes the financial benefits of technology go beyond the quick riches gained by entrepreneurs and investors. The second in a series of three reports predicts almost half of American workers will be employed in high-technology related industries by 2006, and attributes a third of the nations' economic growth between 1995 and 1998 to the information technology industry.
Technology stocks were roughed up Tuesday as investors continue to dwell on the Fed's Open Market Committee meeting next week. The Nasdaq composite shed 50 points to 2,580.26 and the Dow lost 94 points to 10,721.63.
The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 10.78 to 298.
At the Bell
The Dow Jones industrial average is set to open about 28 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 3.50 points to 1345 at 7:15 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.
Trading in Asia followed the Dow's drop. The Nikkei 225 fell 1.07 percent at 17,586 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.21 percent to 13976. Singapore's Strait Times index defied the trend, ending up 2.08 percent to 2,167.
European markets also slumped. London's FTSE 100 slid 0.74 percent to 6,504 the CAC 40 in Paris dropped 0.86 percent to 4,498 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.83 percent to 5,423 at 6:28 a.m. EST.
Reuters contributed to this report.