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Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Techs glance at CPI report

Techs may glance at Wednesday's October CPI report, though its not likely to distract them from their post interest-rate hike party. Asia was up, Europe was mixed, and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.


After the Federal Reserve elected to raise short-term interest rates by a quarter-percentage point for the third time this year, investors went on a shopping spree. The Nasdaq's gains came despite the fact that for 17 crucial minutes, from 3:40 p.m. to 3:57 p.m., it was unable to process trades. Nasdaq officials attempted a software upgrade on the fly, reportedly due to the leap in trading volumes, and paralyzed the system in the last half-hour of trading.

The Labor Department's report on October's consumer prices may not be techs biggest concern Wednesday, but it will give an indication on the pace of inflation. Consumer prices are expected to have risen 0.2 percent in October after climbing 0.4 percent in September. The Commerce Department will also report October's housing starts and building permits figures.

On the earnings front, Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HWP) is ready to reveal its progress in the fourth quarter. After warning last month it would not be able to meet analysts' expectations of 99 cents per share, the computer manufacturer will release its earnings, expected to now be 73 cents a share.

IPOs for the day include iManage (Nasdaq: IMAN), Terra Networks (Nasdaq: TRRA), Rainmaker Systems (Nasdaq: RMKR), Virata (Nasdaq: VRTA) and Web Street (Nasdaq: WEBS).

Expect these stocks to be among Wednesday's most active: Applied Materials, Ariba, BEA Systems, Hewlett-Packard and Network Appliance.

Investors went on a spending spree Tuesday even though the Federal Reserve Board raised short-term interest rates and adopted a "neutral" bias. Tech stocks were the story again as the Nasdaq composite rocketed up 74 points to a record close of 3,293.07.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 37 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 4.8 points to 1426 at 7:41 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was up 17 to 433.62.


Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.66 percent to 18,275, Singapore's Strait Times index lost 0.45 percent to 2,229 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.10 percent to 14,704.


European markets were moving down. London's FTSE 100 lost 0.42 percent to 6,555. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.38 percent to 5,171 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.26 percent to 5,894 at 6:22 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.