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MARKET PREVIEW: Techs eye economic news

As earnings reports dwindle, investors will look to more economic news to support a tech rally. Asian markets were up, Europe was mixed, and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.


Investors will get the week's key economic indicator Tuesday; the National Association of Purchasing Management (NAPM) report on manufacturing will come out shortly after the market opens. The report will be the first major reading on the economy's performance last month, and is forecast to show a slight improvement, rising to 44.0 from 43.1 in March. Any number below 50 indicates a contraction in manufacturing.

Also slated for Tuesday is the March report on construction spending, which economists estimate rose 0.2 percent after a 0.6 percent advance in February. Also, U.S. automakers are due to report March sales.

A few earnings are also on deck. Wireless phone service provider Nextel Communications (Nasdaq: NXTL), computer services provider Perot Systems (NYSE: PER) and (Nasdaq: PCLN), the online discount travel service will all report quarterly results Tuesday.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Tuesday's most actively traded issues: Expedia, MicroStrategy and Tektronix.

Technology stocks got off to a good start this week as the Nasdaq composite gained 41 points to finish at 2,116.46. The Dow Jones industrial average spent much of the day in positive territory before falling 75 points, closing at 10,734.97.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open 25 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 2.6 points to 1261 at 7:15 a.m. EDT in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 7 to 199.63.


Trading in Asia was up. The Nikkei 225 rose 491.14 to 14,425.46, Singapore's Straits Times index rose 36.27 to 1,722.72 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 92.93 to 13,386.04.


European markets were mixed. London's FTSE 100 fell 34.80 to 5,932.10, the CAC 40 in Paris grew 64.06 to 5,640.03 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 89.27 to 6,264.51.

Reuters contributed to this report.