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Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Can techs escape inflation woes?

    The blow of Thursday's economic reports will continue to take the wind out of techs' sails Friday, though earnings released last night, and a few IPOs should make waves. Asia was mixed and Europe was moving up. The Dow is set to open slightly higher.


    News that the employment-cost index, Alan Greenspan's favorite telltale data on inflation, showed higher-than-expected labor costs sent techs tumbling Thursday, leading the decline with banking and brokerage stocks not far behind. Techs are likely to stay jittery until August 24th when the Federal Reserve holds their next policy meeting and decides what to do with interest rates.

    More economic data is set to hit the fan Friday as the Commerce Department reports June personal income. The rate is expected to show a 0.5 percent increase, up from 0.4 percent a month earlier, according to economists polled by Reuters. Personal consumption is expected to edge down to 0.4 percent growth, from the previous 0.6 percent. The Commerce Department's report on new home sales in June is expected to show that transactions edged up slightly from 888,000 to an annual rate of 892,000.

    On the IPO ramp for Friday are Digex Inc. (Nasdaq: DIGX), a spin off of Intermedia Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ICIX), offering 10 million shares at $17 apiece, and Net IQ (Nasdaq: NTIQ), set to debut at $13 a share.

    Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: AboveNet Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ABOV), Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN), Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL), BMC Software Inc. (Nasdaq: BMCS), Lam Research Corp. (Nasdaq: LRCX) and Network Equipment Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: NWK).

    Rising employment costs and a weaker-than-expected Gross Domestic Product figure conspired to drag the Dow Jones industrial average down 181 points to 10,790.97. The Nasdaq fell 66 points to close at 2,640.01.

    At the Bell

    The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 25 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 3.1 points to 1352 at 7:55 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

    The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 10.98 to 282.


    Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.05 percent to 17,862, Singapore's Strait Times index lost 0.04 percent to 2,146 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.53 percent to 13,186.


    European markets were moving up. London's FTSE 100 rose 1.34 percent to 6,180. The CAC 40 in Paris grew 0.96 percent to 4,348 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.99 percent to 5,102 at 6:50 a.m. EST.

    Reuters contributed to this report.