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MARKET PREVIEW: PC woes for Wall Street

A rallying Nasdaq will have to contend with more bad news from the PC sector on Friday. The major Asian and European markets marched up and the Dow set to open higher.


Gateway (NYSE: GTW) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HWP) will be on investors' plates after both companies delivered bad news after yesterday's market close. Gateway reported fourth quarter earnings that missed even lowered expectations, cut its 2001 outlook again, and said it will lay off 10 percent of its work force.

At Hewlett-Packard, the company warned of a first quarter earnings miss, with sales growth in the low- to mid-single digits. HP said it didn't see any improvement until the second half of the year.

The new AOL Time Warner (NYSE: AOL) begins trading today after clearing the final hurdle of the Federal Communications Commission. As a condition of approval, the FCC imposed conditions governing competition in instant messaging.

Two key economic indicators are due out before the opening bell. The Labor Department will release December numbers for the Producer Price Index (PPI), a wholesale inflation indicator, expected to rise 0.1 percent. As well, the retail sales report for December is expected to show a drop of 0.5 percent, according to analyst consensus at

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: Ariba (Nasdaq: ARBA), DoubleClick (Nasdaq: DCLK), Gateway (NYSE: GTW) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HWP).

The Nasdaq continued to gain ground on Thursday, up 116.39 to 2,640.57 while the Dow Jones industrial average inched up 5.28 to 10,609.55.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to open up 35.7 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 futures index rose 4.50 to 1339, above fair value, at 7:24 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index moved up 16 to 263.90.


The major Asian markets moved up. The Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng both saw sizable gains, up 146.67 to 13,347.74 and 204.65 to 15,295.42, respectively. Singapore's Strait Times rose 4.80 to 1,919.82.


European markets were in positive territory, as well. London's FTSE 100 rose 42.20 to 6,157.10, the CAC 40 in Paris was up 98.05 to 5,800.83 and the DAX in Frankfurt gained 73.93 to 6,539.14 at 7:21 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.