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Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Can nets sustain rally?

With overseas economic news adding to their interest rate doldrums, techs are likely to drift Thursday, though Internet issues may continue their winning streak. Asia was mixed, Europe was down, and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.


Wednesday's net rally will face increasing resistance as the countdown to next Tuesday's Federal reserve meeting intensifies. News of a weakening dollar may join inflation fears to discouraging the struggling techs.

The big economic news is overseas, where the yen held recent gains against the dollar and the euro, despite the Nikkei's lapse from its 8th day of gains. A surge of funds into the Japanese market pushed the yen to a six-month high of 111.24 against the dollar in Asian trading, below the 112 yen level breached in New York Wednesday. The yen also gained against the euro, which slipped to a new low of 116.62 yen Wednesday before rising to 117.25.

Among the few tech IPOs priced for trading Thursday is online recruiter (Nasdaq: HHNT), tagged $10 a share, below its $10-12 filing range. Wink Communications (Nasdaq: WINK) had better luck, pricing at $16 a share, the top of its range.

After lowering its price talk to $8 from $10-12, virtual real estate tour firm, (BAMB), postponed its IPO. Looksmart (Nasdaq: LOOK) also put off its debut for yet another day. Telecom maintenance services firm, Orius (NYSE: ORS) also said it was postponing its IPO due to market conditions.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: ADC Telecommunications Inc. (Nasdaq: ADCT), Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP), Network Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: NSOL) and Onsale Inc. (Nasdaq: ONSL).

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 126 points to 10,991.38 Wednesday and the Nasdaq composite chopped off 13 points to close at 2,657.73. Despite the losses, leading Internet stocks made strong gains.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 13 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 1.6 points to 1333 at 7:45 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 0.21 to 289.91.


Trading in Asia was up, except for the Nikkei 225, which fell 0.07 percent to 17,880, pushed down by the yen's appreciation against the dollar and euro. Singapore's Strait Times index gained 1.03 percent to 2,070 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng put on 3.16 percent to 13,403, on news of a potential Japanese bank merger and hopes of progress in China's bid to join the World Trade Organization.


European markets were looking down. London's FTSE 100 fell 0.19 percent to 6,190. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.57 percent to 4,454 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.30 percent to 5,215 at 6:50 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.