Techs may lie low Wednesday as they await Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan's speech on Thursday before attempting a recovery from Tuesday's lows. Asia and Europe were down, and the Dow is set to open flat to slightly higher.
Microsoft's warning that revenue growth rates may ease off due to slowing demand for personal computers and Year 2000 concerns spoiled the earnings party Tuesday. Market jitters over what Alan Greenspan may say before congress Thursday may have also contributed to what was one of the Nasdaq's biggest dips of the year.
The markets will likely continue to hold back Wednesday, also anticipating earnings from two more Internet bigwigs, America Online and Amazon.com, scheduled to report after market close.
In economic happenings, the Commerce Department is expected to release data on the nation's housing sector before markets open. Housing starts are forecast to drop slightly to an annual rate of 1.667 million in June.
Expect the following issues to be among the most actively traded Wednesday: Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN); America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL); Computer Associates International, Inc. (NYSE: CA); Excite@Home Inc. (Nasdaq: ATHM); Infoseek Corp. (Nasdaq: SEEK); MP3.com (Proposed ticker: MPPP); Xilinx Inc. (Nasdaq: XLNX); and CDW Computer Centers Inc. (Nasdaq: CDWC). And that's just the starter set. Plenty of other companies reported earnings and might wind up on the movers list.
A raft of better-than-expected quarterly results couldn't stop technology stocks from leading a broad market retreat Tuesday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index slid 98.11 to 2,732.18, the S&P 500 dropped 30.55 to 1,377.10, and the @100 Index fell 147.05 to 5,144.89. The Dow Jones Industrial Average went down 191.55 to 10,996.13.
At the Bell
The Dow Jones industrial average may inch about 8 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 1.0 points to 1389 at 7:45 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.
Trading in Asia followed the U.S downswing. The Nikkei 225 fell 1.48 percent to 18,258. Singapore's Strait Times index lost 1.90 percent to 2,097 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.33 percent to 13,420.
European markets were also losing ground. London's FTSE 100 slipped 0.97 percent to 6,330. The CAC 40 in Paris lost 1.35 percent to 4,486 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 1.18 percent to 5,426 at 6:40 a.m. EST.
Reuters contributed to this report.