Investors will be eyeing the merger of two big Wall Street players Wednesday. Asian markets were mixed, Europe fell back, and the Dow is set to open slightly higher.
News of Chase Manhattan Corp.'s (NYSE: CMB) purchase of J.P. Morgan & Co. (NYSE: JPM) for $33 billion should make waves Wednesday. The latest consolidation in the financial world will unite two of the oldest U.S. banks to take on Wall Street rivals.
AOL (NYSE: AOL) should also attract attention as its Netscape Communications division will launch a small business destination center today, aimed at the 25.4 million businesses in the United States.
Other movers should include Rambus (Nasdaq: RMBS), up 12 percent on Island ECN before the bell following news it has signed a licensing agreement with NEC. Internet security firm Rainbow Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: RNBO) said Tuesday it is comfortable with earnings forecasts for the remainder of the year. Great Plains Software Inc. (Nasdaq: GPSI) traded up to 26.63 during after-hours trading from a close of 24.69 after it announced first-quarter results beat estimates.
Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Infonet Services, Rainbow Technologies and VA Linux.
Tech stocks slipped a bit Tuesday as the Nasdaq composite lost 47 points to finish at 3,849.48. The Dow Jones industrial average added 38 points to 11,233.23.
At the Bell
The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 8 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 0.1 to 1482 at 7:31 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.
The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 5 to 509.09.
Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.94 to 16,190, Singapore's Strait Times index fell 0.19 to 2082 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 2.22 percent to 16,629.
European markets were falling. London's FTSE 100 fell 0.40 percent to 6,529. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 1 percent to 6,631 and the DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.83 percent to 7,076 at 6:57 a.m. EST.
Reuters contributed to this report.