Techs have some psychological incentive as they ponder the economic forecast Wednesday: To hoist the Nasdaq back above 3,000 points and keep it there. Asia and Europe were mixed, and the Dow is set to open slightly higher.
With but a few earnings still trickling in, economics have become the focal point for techs. Though shares aren't likely to do anything drastic before this Friday's data on employment numbers, Wednesday's economic data could provoke some action.
September factory orders are due out Wednesday from the Commerce Department. The figure is expected to have declined by 0.5 percent after a 1.3 percent climb in the prior month. The Conference Board's Index of Leading Indicators for September is expected to remain unchanged after inching forward 0.1 percent in August.
The Federal Reserve will also release its "Beige Book" on regional economic conditions later in the day.
Only one IPO will venture out: Be Free (Nasdaq: BFRE) priced at $12, just above its upwardly revised pricing range of $10-$11 per share.
Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Lucent Technologies, Medscape, Qualcomm and Peapod.
Strong chip and chip-equipment stocks helped push the Nasdaq above the 3,000-point threshold Tuesday but after some late selling, it netted only a 14-point gain to 2,981.60. The Dow, which was up more than 100 points, closed off 67 points to 10,581.84.
At the Bell
The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 39 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 5 points to 1357 at 7:31 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.
The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 2 to 356.51.
Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 sank 0.03 percent to 17,992, Singapore's Strait Times index gained 1.50 percent to 2,088 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng sank 0.59 percent to 13,257.
European markets were also moving in different directions. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.08 percent to 6,259. The CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.22 percent to 4,888 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.75 percent to 5,505 at 6:52 a.m. EST.
Reuters contributed to this report.