Investors will be searching for something to pull techs and blue chips out of their tailspin. But there aren't many signs of good news, with the Asian and European markets down and the Dow set to open sharply lower.
Blue chips joined technology stocks in steep declines Wednesday as poor earnings reports continued to pile up. Meanwhile, investors are still disappointed about the Federal Reserve's half-point interest rate cut on Tuesday.
There won't be many landmarks to guide investors Thursday. Just more warnings and a tidbit of economic news.
Warnings from Dallas Semiconductor (NYSE: DS) and NetIQ (Nasdaq: NTIQ) will ding shares. Chip maker Dallas Semiconductor warned that its first-quarter sales will fall 30 percent from the fourth quarter. NetIQ, an e-business software developer, said it will miss estimates in its third quarter.
Micron Technology (NYSE: MU) could get some positive attention after it announced it has turned a slight profit in its second quarter. But the company will delay releasing the final results until next week.
The Conference Board's Index of Leading Indicators, released just after the opening bell, could also get some attention. It's expected to show a 0.2 percent decline for February, compared with the 0.8 percent increase in January.
Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: Dallas Semiconductor, Liberate Technologies, Micron Technology and NetIQ.
Blue chip stocks continued their free fall Wednesday as the Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 234 points to finish at 9,487. The Nasdaq composite closed off 27 points to 1,830.24.
At the Bell
The Dow Jones industrial average may open 106 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was off 12.5 points to 1119 at 7:25 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.
The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 1 to 176.67.
Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 shed 249.97 to 1,2853.97. Singapore's Strait Times index fell 44.48 to 1683.52 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 532.59 to 1,2621.85.
European markets were down. London's FTSE 100 fell 147.20 to 5,393.50, the CAC 40 in Paris lost 130.06 to 4,893.70 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was off 168.81 to 5,453.28.
Reuters contributed to this report.