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MARKET PREVIEW: Microsoft and Red Hat vie for spotlight

Microsoft and Red Hat will go head to head for Monday's news spotlight; the software giant has reportedly made some concessions in its antitrust settlement, and its Linux-rival will report quarterly results. Asian markets were up, Europe was mixed, and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.


Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) has agreed to allow companies to embed competing software in Windows as one of its concessions to the government in its anti trust trial, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Though the offer may not go far enough to please the companies critics, talks are likely to continue the Journal said.

Rival software company Red Hat Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT), a leader in the Windows alternative, Linux, will report its fourth quarter results before the market opens.

The broader markets may await word from OPEC on its decision about increasing the world's oil supply. Anticipation of a hike in production helped cool oil prices in Monday morning trading.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Monday's most actively traded issues: Inacom, Spyglass, EarthWeb and Unisys.

Technology stocks made modest gains Friday as the Nasdaq composite moved up 23 points to 4,963.54 while the Dow Jones industrial average clipped off 7 points to 11,112.72.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 38 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 5.3 points to 1550 at 7:26 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was up 9 to 680.97.


Trading in Asia moved most markets ahead. The Nikkei 225 rose 1.62 percent to 20,281, Singapore's Strait Times index gained 3.30 percent to 2,217 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 2.86 percent to 18,292.


European markets were moving in different directions. London's FTSE 100 lost 0.69 percent to 6,691. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 1.09 percent to 6,433 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.63 percent to 6,882 at 7:11 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.