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Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Techs tempted by earnings

Apple may tempt techs into the garden of gains Thursday, as a better-than-expected report from the computer maker could inspire investors to end the week's losing streak. Asia was up, Europe was down, and the Dow is set to open slightly higher


Though Greenspan has warned that market gains may be punished by another interest rate increase, techs may not be able to resist the allure of earnings season. Despite the fact Apple beat reduced estimates after a profit warning, Apple was up 4 31/32 to 69 in London trading on a strong outlook. And the earnings keep on coming Thursday, with Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW), Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM) and Unisys (NYSE: UIS) among techs slated to report.

Compaq Computer Corp. (NYSE: CPQ) may also move techs since the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday the company may be unable to fill all orders for personal computers due to month's earthquake in Taiwan. (Nasdaq: PCLN)should also stir things up Thursday. It has sued Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MFST) and the software company's Expedia Inc. subsidiary on the basis that's new hotel service infringes on its patent.

The IPOs are back. Netcentives Inc. (Nasdaq: NCNT) priced at $12 a share and Inc. (Nasdaq: RPCX) priced at $8 apiece, well below its estimated range of $12 to $14 per share. The real action will be slated for Friday.

On the economic front, September retail sales figures, slated for release before the market open, could put a bright or dull spin on the inflation outlook.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: Altera Corp. (Nasdaq: ALTR), Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Avant! Corp. (Nasdaq: AVNT), Compaq Computer Corp(NYSE: CPQ), Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK) and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW).

Intel's earnings miss and the ubiquitous interest-rate concerns sent technology stocks into a tailspin Wednesday as the Nasdaq composite carved off another 71 points to close at 2,801.46 while the Dow shed 185 points to end at 10,232.16.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 55 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 7 points to 1296 at 7:44 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 12 to 332.60.


Trading in Asia was on an upswing. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.15 percent to 17,780, Singapore's Strait Times index gained 0.81 percent to 2,113 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.09 percent to 12,487.


European markets were mixed. London's FTSE 100 sank 0.09 percent to 6,108. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.07 percent to 4,599 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.02 percent to 5,296 at 7:05 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.