Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Investors mull Oracle earnings

Oracle's fourth quarter report may weigh on the Nasdaq Wednesday, but investors are likely to cheer the Handspring IPO. Asian markets moved up, Europe slumped and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.

U.S.

Reports about weaker than expected sales sent Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) shares down in after-hours trading, even though the software company reported better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings after the market closed Tuesday.

Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) may also see heavy trading Wednesday after it announced mixed news; the chip maker said that the circuit board recall it announced early last month will cost it $200 million in the second quarter, less than some analysts were expecting. It also said income from investments will be better than expected.

Palm-based handheld PDA maker, Handspring (Nasdaq: HAND), priced its IPO at $20, above the lowered $17 to 19 range. Handspring competitor Palm Inc. (Nasdaq: PALM), made a dramatic debut a few months ago.

In the latest Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) news, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson unexpectedly agreed to hold off on a series of business restrictions that he had previously ordered against the company while its case is appealed.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Corel, Intel, Oracle and Verity.

Technology stocks moved higher Tuesday while blue-chip issues retreated. The Nasdaq composite gained 24 points to 4,013.46, its first close above 4,000 in more than two months, while the Dow dropped 122 points to finish at 10.435.51.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 34 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 4.9 to 1494 at 7:41 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was up 13 to 508.28.

Asia

Trading in Asia was moving up. The Nikkei 225 gained 1.79 to 17,210, Singapore's Strait Times index rose 0.96 percent to 2,029 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.94 percent to 16,238.

Europe

European markets were moving down. London's FTSE 100 lost 1.47 percent to 6,431. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 1.13 percent to 6,480 and the DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.85 percent to 7,093 at 6:54 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.