A batch of IPOs will test their muster Wednesday, and will rise or fizzle depending on the outcome of economic data as well as their own ingredients. Asia and Europe were down, and the Dow is set to open slightly higher.
Economic news is back in the mix, as the Federal Reserve will release its "beige book" report on U.S. economic conditions. The report will be closely watched in anticipation of Federal Reserve policymakers' meeting on Oct. 5.
Other factors that lead to Tuesday's sour conditions are likely to linger, as the rising yen, ballooning trade deficit and Taiwan's earthquake continue to exert their influence.
Broadbase Software (Nasdaq: BBSW), Kana Communications (Nasdaq: KANA) and E.piphany (Nasdaq: EPNY) are all slated to debut.
Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Bottomline Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: EPAY), Fairchild Semiconductor (NYSE: FCS) and 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS).
The unfortunate confluence of a natural disaster, a rising U.S. trade deficit and the falling dollar conspired to punish Wall Street Tuesday as the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 225 points to 10,598.42 while the Nasdaq shed 65 points to end at 2,821.17.
At the Bell
The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 17 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 2.1 points to 1324 at 7:25 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.
The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index sank 4 to 206.23.
Tokyo suffered its largest point slide of the year, with other Asian markets following suit. The Nikkei 225 plunged 3.39 percent to 17,326 on worries of the rising yen. Singapore's Strait Times index lost 1.96 percent to 2,068 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.73 percent to 13,188.
European markets were moving up. London's FTSE 100 lost 0.26 percent to 5,942. The CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.95 percent to 4,569 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.57 percent to 5,253 at 7:00 a.m. EST.
Reuters contributed to this report.