Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: CMGI may boost techs

Nets should feel the overflow from CMGI's earnings Thursday; as high revenues signal the Internet incubator will continue its buying spree. Asia slid, European markets moved up, and the Dow is set to open flat to slightly higher.

U.S.

CMGI's (Nasdaq: CMGI) Internet operations reported revenue of $85.1 million, more than quadruple that of the previous quarter. The Net investment company, which has generated much of its income from sales of stock holdings, also said in its earning release that it will beef up its current portfolio of 58 companies to 120 a year from now.

Ariba, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARBA)'s $1.86 billion acquisition of privately-held TradexTechnologies, Inc., is now official. Tradex, which provides business-to-business Net auctions will extend Ariba's expertise into buy-side e-commerce. The move also pits it directly against FreeMarkets (Nasdaq: FMKT), which launched a wildly successful IPO last week.

America Online Inc (Nasdaq: AOL) will also get some attention. The company has signed a marketing alliance with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The deal, rumored for some time now, calls for the creation of a co-branded Internet service. Wal-Mart will also distribute copies of AOL's disks in it stores, and the Wal-Mart online store will be featured in AOL's shopping sections.

IPOs on deck for Thursday include Infonet Services (NYSE: IN) priced at $21, OnDisplay (ONDS), and Xpedior (XPDR).

On the economic front, October's international trade report and the Labor Department's weekly tally of first-time jobless claims are due out. The country's trade deficit is expected to have narrowed to $24 billion from $24.4 billion in September.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: Adobe Systems, CMGI, Informatica, InterNap and Project Software & Development.

Microsoft and Oracle lifted blue-chip technology stocks higher Wednesday as the Nasdaq composite gained 50 points to 3,621.90 while the Dow Jones industrial average moved up 65 points to 11,225.32.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 5 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 0.6 points to 1429 at 7:46 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 8 to 515.66.

Asia

Trading in Asia was moving into the red. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.15 percent to 18,111, Singapore's Strait Times index slipped 0.63 percent to 2,315 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.60 percent to 15,571.

Europe

European markets were moving up. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.82 percent to 6,688. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.15 percent to 5,538 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.85 percent to 6,286 at 7:04 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.