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Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Techs digest economic data

Techs will be eyeing another morsel of economic data as a harbinger of inflation Friday, as the August PPI report is thrown on the Fed-frenzied market. Asia was up, Europe was mixed, and the Dow is set to open slightly higher.

U.S.

The August producer price index, or PPI report, which signals inflationary pressure on the wholesale level, is seen as a precursor of the consumer price index report, due out next Wednesday.

The U.S. dollar got a boost from the Bank of Japan's greenback spending spree. It stepped in to prop up the currency, which had hit a three-year low against the yen. In order to continue Japan's economic rebound, the American dollar must remain strong enough to make Japan-made goods attractive.

Economists polled by Reuters expect the PPI to have risen 0.3 percent in August. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, the core index is expected to be up 0.1 percent.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: Advanced Fibre Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: AFCI), Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HWP), Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU), Mastech Corp. (Nasdaq: MAST) and National Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: NSM).

Technology stocks recovered much of the ground they lost earlier this week, sending the Nasdaq composite up 43 points to within a few points of its all-time high. The Dow also tacked on 43 points to close at 11,079.40.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 24 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 3.5 points to 1363 at 7:40 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

Asia

Trading in Asia was on an upswing. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.19 percent to 17,711, Singapore's Strait Times index gained 0.27 percent to 2,133 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng put on 0.01 percent to 13,856.

Europe

European markets were mixed. London's FTSE 100 sank 0.38 percent to 6,237. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.34 percent to 4,734 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.45 percent to 5,461 at 7:00 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.