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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Techs looking for direction

Telecom news may inspire some momentum Thursday as techs trudge on, uninspired by Wednesday's fair economic forecast. Asian and European markets were down, and the Dow is set to open slightly higher.

U.S.

AT&T's announcement it will team up with British Telecommunications Plc and Motorola's Inc. (NYSE: MOT)'s confirmation it will buy General Instrument Corp. (NYSE: GIC) made headlines Thursday.

AT&T Corp. also said it will provide Internet access through digital subscriber-line technology, or DSL, a competing technology to the cable-TV-based service in which the company has been investing.

Despite the success of NetSilicon's (Nasdaq: NSIL) IPO Wednesday, Luminant Worldwide Corp. (Proposed ticker: LUMT)is taking extra pains to make its debut exclusive. The provider of e-commerce services priced its shares at $18 a share, above its range, and cut the number of shares to be offered in half.

Economic data to be unveiled includes weekly initial jobless claims, reported by the Labor Department, and a report on industrial production and capacity utilization from the Federal Reserve.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: Informix Corp. (Nasdaq: IFMX), Jabil Circuit Circuit Inc. (NYSE: JBL), Luminant Worldwide Corp. (Proposed ticker: LUMT) and Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: VTSS).

Even though the much-anticipated Consumer Price Index numbers were better than expected Wednesday, investors sold off stocks across the board as the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 109 points to 10,801.42 and the Nasdaq shed 54 points to 2,814.16.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 11 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 1.3 points to 1333 at 7:35 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index sank 6 to 306.60.

Asia

Trading in Asia moved into the red as the yen continued to climb against the dollar; the dollar traded at 104.850 Japanese yen overnight. The Nikkei 225 fell 2.73 percent to 17,292, Singapore's Strait Times index lost 1.45 percent to 2,090 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 2.71 percent to 13,431.

Europe

European markets were also in a slump. London's FTSE 100 sank 0.25 percent to 6,053. The CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.20 percent to 4,653 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.66 percent to 5,352 at 6:50 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.