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MARKET PREVIEW: Techs to drift into weekend

Without the usual flurry of IPOs, it will be slow going for techs Friday. Asian markets were down, while Europe inched ahead. The Dow is set to open slightly higher.


The market started having second-thoughts about Tuesday's interest rate hike, and petered out in Thursday afternoon trading. Techs may try to take back some losses from yesterday's profit taking, but they aren't likely to advance far on a Friday, especiallyone without any initial public offerings to stir things up.

In economic news, data on July personal income is expected to show a 0.5 percent increase, compared with 0.7 percent a month earlier. July personal consumption is also slated for release, with the estimate at 0.5 percent growth, up from 0.3 percent in the prior month.

The Fed was almost unanimous in its decision to raise short-term interest rates at its June meeting, according to minutes released Thursday. Members of the Federal Open Market Committee voted 9-1 to raise the fed funds rate -- the target interest rate at which commercial banks lend to each other overnight. But policy makers were divided on whether to drop their bias toward higher rates.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: Agile Software Corp. (Nasdaq: AGIL), Autodesk Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK), Avnet Inc. (NYSE: AVT), Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) and Legato Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: LGTO).

Profit taking held stocks lower Thursday as the Dow Jones industrial average fell 128 points to 11,198.45 while the tech-laden Nasdaq composite dropped 31 points to 2,774.69.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 13 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 1.6 points to 1369 at 7:25 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index sunk 3.27 to 304.21.


Trading in Asia was on a downswing. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.38 percent to 17,599, Singapore's Strait Times index lost 0.37 percent to 2,154 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.66 percent to 13,383.


European markets edged ahead. London's FTSE 100 gained 0.01 percent to 6,384. The CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.46 percent to 4,651 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.03 percent to 5,391 at 6:50 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.