Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Techs shadow-boxing again?

Losses are likely to eclipse gains again Wednesday, as the dark bubble of inflation continues to cast its shadow across once luminous techs. Asia was mixed, Europe was up, and the Dow is set to open higher.

U.S.

Though fears of interest rate hikes may be hanging over the Nasdaq, techs are far from entering a dark age. Some positive earnings from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) reported after Tuesday's bell could lighten things up, and the much anticipated offerings of Red Hat Inc. (Proposed ticker: RHAT) should make it into orbit despite the market's recent gravity.

Garden.com, an e-commerce gardening site, OpenSite Technologies, developer of software that creates online auction sites, and Women.com have all postponed their initial public offerings, citing market conditions.

Inflation is looming on the other side of the Atlantic as well, though the last solar eclipse of the millenium may attract more attention Wednesday. The Bank of England warned that the risk of inflation appears to be on the rise, making it likely that U.K. interest rates may receive a hike. London's FTSE 100 gave up some earlier gains on the news.

On the U.S. economic forecasting front, anticipation of the Federal Reserve's Beige Book report on economic conditions across the country may cause turbulence in the jittery markets. Investors are still scrutinizing economic data for wind of a raise in interest rates when the Fed meets again.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), CheckFree Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: CKFR) 24/7 Media Inc. (Nasdaq: TFSM) and Winstar Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: WCII).

The Dow Jones industrial average shaved off 53 points to 10,655.15 Tuesday. Technology stocks were beaten back again as the Nasdaq slid another 29 points to end at 2,490.11.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 49 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 6.0 points to 1297 at 7:30 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index inched up 0.06 to 254.01.

Asia

Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.05 percent to 17,211, Singapore's Strait Times index lost 1.73 percent to 1,988 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.26 percent to 12,438.

Europe

European markets were moving up. London's FTSE 100 rose 1.09 percent to 6,044. The CAC 40 in Paris gained O.86 percent to 4,282 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.49 percent to 5,025 at 6:50 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.