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MARKET PREVIEW: Techs eye earnings and regulatory issues

Quarterly reports will rule again Tuesday, though techs may be troubled by regulatory issues again as AT&T as well as Microsoft come under scrutiny. Asian and European markets were mixed, and the Dow is set to open higher.


After investors sent Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) down 16 percent Monday on news of slower earnings growth coupled with the company's breakup and spin off of its Office Software Suite, AT&T (NYSE: T) will come under scrutiny for its dealings with the FCC. A Federal Communications Commission report approved AT&T's acquisition of MediaOne, but is requiring it to divest certain key holdings, according to Tuesday's Wall Street Journal.

Quarterly reports will continue to flood the market; tech companies due to report after the market close include Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ), Internet auction site eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) and telecom equipment provider Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT). Juno (Nasdaq: JWEB) and Xerox (NYSE: XRX) were out with their results before the bell.

Economic news will include March existing home sales, which are expected to stayed at the same 4.75 million annual rate recorded in February. The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence for April is also slated for release, and is expected to have slipped slightly since March.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Tuesday's most actively traded issues: Akamai, Gadzoox,, NBCi and The 3DO Co.

Investors unloaded technology stocks Monday, sending Nasdaq composite down 161 points to 3,482.38 after Microsoft became the latest sector leader to spook Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 62 points to 10.906.10.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 60 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 8 points to 14745 at 7:31 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 28 to 458.93.


Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 fell 1.12 percent to 18,272, Singapore's Strait Times index gained 0.84 percent to 2,066 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.08 percent to 15,380.


European markets were also moving in different directions. London's FTSE 100 lost 0.15 percent to 6,232. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.27 percent to 6,217 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.95 percent to 7,225 at 7:01 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.