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Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Techs may continue sleepwalk

Nets are likely to lag behind with slow moving techs again Tuesday, as a mixed bag of earnings and mergers won't be enough to fuel a recovery. Asia was mixed, Europe was down, and the Dow is set to open lower.


Treasury prices sagged while bond yields rose for the sixth day in eight Monday, indicating the interest rate inspired slump is far from over. The overall market is still licking its wounds after the bite of Friday's bearish employment report. Techs fell back from their early morning gains Monday, and aren't likely to hurdle any bars Tuesday.

Qwest Communications International Inc. (Nasdaq: QWST) will add some tension to the slack markets with a stab at pricing competition. The company said it is entering the Internet access business with a plan that combines unlimited dial-up Net access and 250 minutes of long distance service for $24.95 per month, one day after MCI Worldcom (Nasdaq: WCOM) said it would lower rates.

Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) announced a $3.7 billion purchase of networking firm International Network Services (Nasdaq: INSS). Earnings are also on board, with computer networking equipment maker Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO) expected to post a profit of 20 cents per share for its fourth quarter, while Iridium (Nasdaq: IRID), the troubled telephone network bankrolled by Motorola is expected to have widened its losses to $3.13 a share in the second quarter.

Though cut the value of its offering in half Monday, a few brave IPOs priced for trading Tuesday. US Interactive (Proposed ticker: USIT), which offers professional services over the Internet, tagged 4.6 million shares at $10 each, the low end of its price range. Interworld (INTW), an Internet commerce software company, also priced 3 million shares at $15 each, in the middle of its range.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Tuesday's most actively traded issues: Frontier Communications Inc. (NYSE: FRO), Gateway Inc. (NYSE: GTW), Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) Razorfish, Inc. (NASDAQ: RAZF), and Inc. (Nasdaq: SALN).

Technology stocks closed lower Monday as the Nasdaq composite fell 29 points to 2,518.98. The Dow Jones industrial average chipped off 6 points to close at 10,707.70.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 66 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 8.0 points to 1295 at 7:35 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 8.37 to 253.29.


Trading in Asia was mixed on U.S. rate concerns again. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.07 percent to 17,202, Singapore's Strait Times index lost 2.25 percent to 2,023 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 2.69 percent to 12,597.


European markets were also looking down. London's FTSE 100 fell 0.97 percent to 6,067. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.72 percent to 4,262 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 1.15 percent to 5,029 at 6:50 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.