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Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Earnings, economic news in tug of war

Look for some lively trading Tuesday as the earnings parade continues with a dash of economic concern. Asia was mixed, Europe moved up, and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.


The earnings keep on coming, with Compaq Computer (NYSE: CPQ), Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU), Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT) set to spring their reports before the bell. eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY) and (Nasdaq: PCLN) are slated after the bell.

Investors are loitering on the economic front, ahead of Thursday's reports on the third-quarter employment cost index (ECI) and gross domestic product. Meanwhile, the October consumer confidence index, which will be released by the Conference Board after the markets open Tuesday, may see some reaction. The index is expected to have slipped to 132.8 this month, down from 134.2 in September. Wall Street also will be tuned in to remarks by several Fed Bank regional presidents are slated to give speeches Tuesday, which are bound to be scrutinized by the interest-rate anxious.

The day's IPOs aren't exactly sizzling -- Viador (Nasdaq: VIAD), priced at $9, and Ectel (Nasdaq: ECTX), priced at $12, both priced at the low end of their ranges.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Tuesday's most actively traded issues: Ask Jeeves, Computer Sciences, Compaq, Gadzoox, Pixar and Ticketmaster-CitySearch.

Rising interest rates abroad and sagging bond prices sent stocks into a funk Monday as the Dow Jones industrial average fell 120 points to 10,349.93. The Nasdaq composite shed half a point to close at 2,815.94.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 20 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 2.5 points to 1298 at 7:30 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was up 2 to 337.27.


Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.13 percent to 17,672, Singapore's Strait Times index slipped 0.44 percent to 2,014 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 1.82 percent to 12,797.


European markets were moving up. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.42 percent to 6,035. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.59 percent to 4,696 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.66 percent to 5,356 at 6:54 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.