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Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Techs watch for profit taking

Investors will be anxious Wednesday to gauge whether Tuesday afternoon's profit-taking marks an end to the tech rally. Asian markets were mixed, Europe moved down, and the Dow is set to open flat to slightly higher.

U.S.

The latest twist in Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) trial may inspire some interest Wednesday, amid a dearth of earning and other news.

Investors will be keeping an eye out for Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's long-awaited ruling in the Microsoft's case, which could be announced Wednesday, and is due Friday at the latest. Microsoft attorneys filed their final comments in opposition to the government's breakup plan late Tuesday. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said on Wednesday that a possible break-up of the software giant would slow innovation within the industry, but that the company would survive either way.

Microsoft CFO John Connors also reiterated the company's financial outlook Tuesday. Although PC demand should improve between 15 percent to 20 percent this year, don't expect blowout earnings and sales.

Other news which may attract attention includes the possibility that Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE: NT) may make a co-marketing arrangement to use Juniper Networks Inc.'s (Nasdaq: JNPR) technology, instead of developing its own high-speed router, as planned.

Expect these technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded: Computer Sciences, Juniper, Logility, Microsoft and TeraGlobal Communications.

Investors cashed in some recent profits in the technology sector Tuesday, sending the Nasdaq composite down 65 points to 3,756.34. The Dow Jones industrial average closed off 80 points to 10,735.57.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 7 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 0.9 to 1463 at 7:31 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 14 to 471.40.

Asia

Trading in Asia was mixed The Nikkei 225 fell 0.15 to 17,144, Singapore's Strait Times index rose 1.66 percent to 2,034 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.24 percent to 15,900.

Europe

European markets were headed down. London's FTSE 100 fell 0.94 percent to 6,214. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 1.20 percent to 6,511 and the DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.98 percent to 7,287 at 7:05 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.