A warning from Intel and job cuts from Cisco may steal the fire from jobs data Friday. Asian and European markets moved down, and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.
Chipmaker Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) slashed its earnings forecast again Thursday night and announced it would cut 5,000 jobs--about 6 percent of its work force--during the next nine months.
Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) may also slash jobs--it's planning to cut 5 percent of its staff in the coming weeks to adjust for a sharp downturn in business, a source close to the company told Reuters.
With that double dose of negative job news, investors will be eyeing the February employment data. The report is expected to show economic weakness, with around 75,000 jobs created last month, down from 268,000 in January. The unemployment rate is expected to be steady at 4.2 percent.
A weak jobs report could be another element to tip the Federal Reserve toward lowering interest rates when it meets again March 20.
Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: Intel, NaviSite and ON Semiconductor.
Yahoo's profit warning and management shakeup pulled technology stocks lower Thursday as the Nasdaq composite shed 55 points to finish at 2,168.76. Investors opted to buy more blue-chip issues as the Dow Jones industrial average surged up 129 points to 10,858.25.
At the Bell
The Dow Jones industrial average may open 10 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 1.2 points to 1265 at 7:25 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.
The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 9 to 208.95.
Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 dropped 22.66 to 1,2627.90, Singapore's Strait Times index lost 6.85 to 1,898.32 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 14.60 to 1,4194.35.
European markets were down. London's FTSE 100 fell 25.10 to 5,978.10, the CAC 40 in Paris lost 48.83 to 5,389.83 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was off 26.49 to 6,240.57 at 7:20 a.m. EST.
Reuters contributed to this report.