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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Techs eye economic news

Another economic report may give techs some cheap kicks Friday, but shares aren't likely to move too much until next week's Fed meeting. Asia was up, Europe was mixed, and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.

U.S.

With the Federal Reserve's meeting on interest rates coming up next Tuesday, antsy techs are likely to make some shallow moves on the day's economic news. A slight rise is being anticipated in the NAPM index, which would indicates continued growth in the manufacturing sector. Economists are expecting the index will have climbed to 54.3 in September from 54.2 in August. Anything above 50 indicates manufacturing activity is expanding.

Speculation continues to swirl over the future of Internet portal Excite@Home Corp. (Nasdaq: ATHM). Amid rumors the firm may split into two companies, AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) said late Thursday it is exploring "many alternatives" regarding its ownership interest in the company.

Stocks which may be active Friday include AT&T (NYSE: T), Digital Insight (Nasdaq: DGIN), Novell Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL), and Williams Communications Group Inc. (NYSE: WCG).

Techs gained along with the rest of the market as the third quarter ended. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 15.89 to 2746.16, the S&P 500 gained 14.34 to 1282.71, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average moved up 123.47 to 10336.95.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 32 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 4 points to 1294 at 7:41 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was resting at 323.15.

Asia

Trading in Asia was on an upswing. The Nikkei 225 rose 1.61 percent to 17,713, Singapore's Strait Times index gained 1.45 percent to 2,051 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was still down 0.79 percent to 12,733 as markets were closed for China's National Day.

Europe

European markets were mixed. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.32 percent to 6,049. The CAC 40 in Paris sank 0.64 percent to 4,562 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.43 percent to 5,128 at 6:54 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.