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MARKET PREVIEW: Techs eye wholesale price data

A wholesale price report will be the focus for investors Friday, as the week draws to a close without any tech IPOs. Asian and European markets were mixed, and the Dow is set to open slightly higher.


The May producer price report will be closely watched Friday, as investors look for more signs that the economy may be cooling, and the Federal Reserve may therefore slacken its tightening grip on interest rates. The report is expected to show producer prices gained 0.3 percent in May, compared with a 0.3 percent decline in April. The core producer price index, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, is expected to have risen 0.1 percent, the same as April's increase.

The wholesale price report, along with next Wednesday's consumer price data, will be weighed by the Fed when it meets late this month.

Newsmakers Friday will include Corel (Nasdaq: CORL); the Canadian software publisher will slash 320 full-time and contractor positions, or more than a fifth of its jobs, and said CEO Michael Cowpland will give up his annual salary in an effort to cut $40 million from expenses.

The calendar for initial public offerings, usually packed on Fridays, was bare of technology issues, as market jitters and the summer lull continue to scare off new entrants.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: Corel,, NaviSite and Read-Rite.

Proctor & Gamble's profit warning hammered blue-chip stocks Thursday as the Dow Jones industrial average fell 143 points to 10.670.11. The Nasdaq composite fell 14 points to 3,825.61.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 21 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 3.0 to 1492 at 7:41 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was even at 491.83.


Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.84 to 16,861, Singapore's Strait Times index fell 0.86 percent to 2,042 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1.53 percent to 16,120.


European markets were also moving in different directions. London's FTSE 100 fell 0.38 percent to 6,472. The CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.12 percent to 6,531 and the DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.50 percent to 7,279 at 7:10 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.