Techs will remain torn Thursday, deciding whether to be tugged up by anxious Internet shares, or drawn back by investors hesitant on the dropping dollar. Asia was mixed, Europe moved up, and the Dow is set to open higher.
Internet shares raced ahead Wednesday, ignoring concerns on the broader market as the dollar edged down to touch 103.93 against the yen. The day's IPOs were a roaring success; Kana Communications (Nasdaq: KANA), E.piphany (Nasdaq: EPNY) and Broadbase Software Inc. (Nasdaq: BBSW) all more than doubled in debut. Thursday, Ashford.com (Nasdaq: ASFD) and Cybergold (Nasdaq: CGLD) have also priced to begin trading.
According to the "beige book," an economic study released by the Federal Reserve Wednesday, the U.S. economy is racing ahead, with signs of inflation starting to appear. The survey, conducted eight times a year, found that manufacturing activity and retail sales were particularly strong. The next report, slated for two weeks ahead of the next Fed policy meeting, will have an even greater influence on officials as they decide whether to jack up interest rates.
The weekly jobless claims report is on deck Thursday, giving investors more data to ponder which way the Fed is headed on interest rates.
Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: Cable Design Technologies Corp. (NYSE: CDT), Cyberian Outpost Inc. (Nasdaq: COOL) and Global Crossing Ltd. (Nasdaq: GBLX).
Internet stocks picked up ground Wednesday but blue-chip stocks took a beating as the Dow Jones industrial average fell 74 points to close at 10,524.07 and the Nasdaq moved up 37 points to finish at 2,858.17.
At the Bell
The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 38 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 4.8 points to 1327 at 7:30 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.
The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was up 14 to 319.89.
Japan's market plunged, while other Asian markets inched ahead. The Nikkei 225 tumbled 3.39 percent to 17,326 on further concerns over the rising yen, while Singapore's Strait Times index jumped 0.04 percent to 2,068 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.20 percent to 13,214.
European markets were moving up. London's FTSE 100 rose 1.52 percent to 6,004. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.55 percent to 4,593 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.99 percent to 5,291 at 6:50 a.m. EST.
Reuters contributed to this report.