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Tech Industry

THE DAY AHEAD: Market Preview

Look for techs to go quietly into the weekend as the broader markets focus on economic data. Asia and Europe gained. The Dow is set to open higher.

U.S.

The market's direction will be dictated by this morning's economic data (economic news). The May Producer Price Index and retail sales figures are on deck.

The bond markets could get flustered if the May retail report comes in above the 0.7 percent mark including auto sales. Without autos, the target is 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the PPI is also due. The PPI is a group of statistics compiled by the Labor Department to gauge inflation at the wholesale level. The consensus calls for PPI growth of 0.2 percent. The April PPI came in at a surprisingly-strong 0.5 percent.

If the PPI and retail sales figures come in too high, the pundits will begin pondering the possibility of not one Federal Reserve rate hike, but two increases.

If the figures are on target then the market could run in place. Wall Street is already resigned to a rate hike when the Fed meets June 29 and June 30.

And if the figures come in below expectations, it may be a sign that the economy is slowing on its own and the Fed won't raise rates. That possibility, however, is pretty slim.

In the tech world, CMGi (Nasdaq: CMGI) is the leading stock to watch for Friday. Shares of CMGi were down in aftermarket trading after the company missed estimates for the quarter. However, since CMGi is basically a venture capital firm or a closed-end Internet mutual fund the earnings don't matter much anyway.

Meanwhile, National Semi (NYSE: NSM) reported a hefty loss, but is on the right track and Phone.com (Nasdaq: PHCM) preps its IPO.

On Thursday, the tech sector slumped as the broader markets were hampered by inflation fears.

The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 35 points to 2,484, but the Dow fell 69 points to 10,621. The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index lost almost 8 points.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is set to open about 23 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 2.9 points to 1323.40 at 7:43 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

Asia

Asian markets closed higher on Friday, inspired by signs of recovery in Japan and a hefty interest rate cut in China. Japan reported strong economic growth on Thursday.

The Nikkei 225 jumped 0.56 percent at 17,198.55, the Seoul composite in South Korea fell 0.87 percent to 848, Singapore's Strait Times index climbed 1.83 percent to 2,067 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.2 percent at 12,992.76.

Europe

Europe held gains ahead of the PPI report from the U.S. Look for the trading in Europe to move with that PPI data.

London's FTSE 100 gained 0.68 percent to 6,442, the CAC 40 in Paris added 0.07 percent to 4,383 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.73 percent to 5,239 at 7:30 a.m. EST.