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Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Chip stocks may weigh down techs

    Though the Nasdaq continues to shrug off the interest rate blues felt by the bond market, chip stocks may drag techs down Thursday. Asia and Europe are still jittery on rate hike expectations, and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.

    U.S.

    The release of initial jobless claims at 8:30 EDT Thursday should attract little attention from interest rate obsessed markets. The estimate for the week to June 19 is up 304,000 compared to 297,000 the previous week. May durable-goods orders will also be released, with an expected increase of 1.0 percent compared to April's drop of 2.1 percent.

    In other trading related news, the Nasdaq Stock Market may be broken off from the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) in an initial public offering, and the start date for night trading on the U.S. markets was pushed back to next year, NASD Chairman Frank Zarb said Wednesday at a National Press Club appearance.

    Chips stocks will be a drag; Advanced Micro Devices(NYSE: AMD) is set to collapse after Wednesday's profit warning, citing the collapse of microprocessor prices. Memory chip manufacturer Micron Technology (NYSE: MU), also reported losses after the bell.

    Other actively traded technology stocks may include SCM Microsystems (Nasdaq: SCMM), which also issued a profit warning.

    Qwest Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: QWST) will likely continue its slide on news it has upped 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).

    In merger news, VoiceStream Wireless Corp. (Nasdaq: VSTR) said Wednesday it would buy Omnipoint Corp.(Nasdaq: OMPT)in a $1.7 billion deal to create a national wireless powerhouse.

    Internet stocks were the only bright spot in a dreary Wednesday of trading as the Nasdaq composite picked up 18 points to 2,598.13. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 55 points to close at 10,666.86.

    The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 3.55 to 302.

    At the Bell

    The Dow Jones industrial average is set to open about 21 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 2.70 points to 1340 at 7:50 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

    Asia

    Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 jumped 0.24 percent to 17,628. Singapore's Strait Times index ran to a new high, jumping 1.12 percent to 2,426 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng mimicked U.S. interest rate jitters, falling 1.40 percent to 13,780.

    Europe

    European markets were also reacting to interest rate fears.

    London's FTSE 100 edged back 0.06 percent to 6,492 the CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.04 percent to 4,479. The Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.20 percent to 5,468 at 6:38 a.m. EST.

    Reuters contributed to this report.