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MARKET PREVIEW: Can earnings override interest rate worries?

Techs will digest last night's feast of quarterly reports Wednesday and look forward to IBM earnings after the bell. Asian markets moved up, Europe was mixed, and the Dow is set to open lower.


Despite a glut of quarterly reports Tuesday, techs fell as a higher than expected jump in the Consumer Price Index made Fed watchers uneasy.

Most techs that reported after Tuesday's bell topped estimates; Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) reported fourth-quarter earnings of $2.4 billion, or 44 cents a share, beating the forecast of 42 cents a share. Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) reported earnings of $3.5 billion, or 50 cents a share, edging above estimates of 49 cents a share. Apple Computer (Nasdaq: AAPL) earned $163 million, or 45 cents a share, just above the 44 cents a share forecast.

On deck for Wednesday are earnings from IBM (Nasdaq: IBM), which is expected to report earnings of $1 a share after the market close.

On the IPO front, (Nasdaq: SPRT), provider of web-based software that offers self-service IT support, priced its offering of 4.25mm shares at $14 a piece.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Apple, Intel, Microsoft, Rambus and Sybase.

Tech stocks pulled back ahead of Tuesday's earnings barrage as the Nasdaq composite closed off 98 points to 4,176.98. The Dow Jones industrial average finished off 64 points to 10.739.92.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 51 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 7.1 to 1464 at 7:31 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 17 to 531.79.


Trading in Asia was moving up. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.23 to 16,983, Singapore's Strait Times index gained 1.46 percent to 2,137 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1.54 percent to 17,710.


European markets were mixed. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.17 percent to 6,461. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.19 percent to 6,526 and the DAX in Frankfurt was down 1.00 percent to 7,332 at 6:57 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.