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MARKET PREVIEW: Will Linux frenzy continue?

Sun's announcement of plans to buy Star Division may add heat to the Linux fever Tuesday. Asia and Europe were mixed, and the Dow is set to open flat.

U.S.

Monday's frenzy for Linux-related shares may get another boost, as Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) said it is buying Star Division Corp., developer of an office application suite that competes with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) in order to move office applications beyond the personal computer. Star Division's Star Office programs have a devoted following among users of the Linux operating system.

The exceptions among Monday's sullen techs were Linux-related issues, which ran up, although none of the companies involved rely on Linux for any significant revenue. Front office software maker Applix Inc. (Nasdaq: APLX), Ariel Corp. (Nasdaq: ADSP), a manufacturer of Linux-compatible remote access cards, Corel Corp. (Nasdaq: CORL) and application development software vendor Unify Corp. (Nasdaq: UNFY) were all boosted by the Linux buzz.

On the economic front, the Conference Board's monthly report on consumer confidence is expected to show a slight decrease to 134.2 for August from 135.6 in July, according to economists surveyed by Reuters. Also scheduled for release is The August report by purchasing managers in the Chicago area is also slated for release. It could offer some insight on the production side of the economy.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Tuesday's most actively traded issues: CompUSA Inc. (Nasdaq: CPU), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and Portal Software Inc. (Nasdaq: PRSF).

Technology stocks followed the broader market lower Monday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 46.21 to 2712.69, the S&P 500 fell 24.25 to 1324.02, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 176.04 to 10914.13. Inter@ctive Week's @Net Index shrank 6.64 to 294.15.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is set to open flat. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was even at 0 points at 7:25 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index sunk 10.29 to 290.50.

Asia

Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.82 percent to 17,919, Singapore's Strait Times index lost 0.15 percent to 2,151 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 2.28 percent to 13,689.

Europe

European markets were also moving in different directions. London's FTSE 100 fell 0.14 percent to 6,375. The CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.32 percent to 4,657 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.51 percent to 5,393 at 7:00 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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