The Fed countdown should continue Monday, as techs await Wednesday's interest rate news. Asian and European markets were also mixed in anticipation of the big announcement, and the Dow is set to open slightly higher.
As anticipation over how much the Federal Reserve will raise rates has dragged on, its significance has also become inflated. On the economic front, speculation abounds on financial bubbles and the effect of the technology sector on productivity. Though a rate increase, or a series of increases, will have some bearing on the market, what's really at question is the hold monetary policy should have on inflation, and the new economy's potential for growth.
Last week's initial public offerings continued to test investor's optimism for .com stocks. Results showed there's not much in a name, as Internet.com Corp. (Nasdaq: INTM) floundered after pricing above expectation, while U.S. Search Corp.com Inc. (Nasdaq: SRCH) fell below its initial price. Persistence Software Inc. (Nasdaq: PRSW) fared well, and Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) soared. Watch this week to see whether the winners will hold water, or the sinkers resurface.
Expect the following technology stocks to be among Monday's most actively traded issues: International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Walt Disney Co.(NYSE: DIS)and Lucent Technologies,(NYSE: LU), which agreed to settle have a patent infringement lawsuit that it brought against Cisco Systems Inc.(Nasdaq: CSCO).
Looking forward to the week ahead tech issues should remain relatively unaffected by Wednesday's Fed announcement.
Technology stocks ended a volatile week with mixed results Friday. The Nasdaq composite closed off 1 point to 2,552.65. The Dow Jones industrial average added 18 points to close at 10,552.56 in light trading.
The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index dropped 4 to 289.
At the Bell
The Dow Jones industrial average is set to open about 16 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 2.0 points to 1331 at 7:25 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.
Trading in Asia continued to mimic U.S. caution over rate tightening. The Nikkei 225 jumped 1.00 percent at 17,610. Singapore's Strait Times index sunk 0.69 percent to 2,163 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng picked up 0.40 percent to 13840.
European markets were also mixed. London's FTSE 100 shed 0.40 percent to 6,409 the CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.20 percent to 4,425. The Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.28 percent to 5,315 at 6:45 a.m. EST.