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Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Techs watch jobs data

A posse of high-priced IPOs hits the Street Friday, as the broader market awaits jobs data to set the pace. Asia and Europe edged down, and the Dow is set to open flat to slightly higher.


Three of Friday's IPOs priced above their expected range. Jupiter Communications Inc (Proposed ticker: JPTR) priced at $21, above its $19-20 range. Web content management software provider Interwoven (Proposed ticker: IWOV) priced its 3.15 million shares at $17, far above the expected range of $10-$12. Illuminet Holdings (Proposed ticker: ILUM) also outdid itself, pricing at $19, after the original $14.50-$16.50 range. Trizetto Group Inc. (Proposed ticker: TZIX) will also debut priced at $9 a share, the bottom of its $9-$10 range.

Jobs data will also dent or drive techs - the key economic indicator is expected to show about 218,000 new jobs last month and an unchanged unemployment rate resting at 4.2 percent. Average hourly earnings, which gauge inflation in the job market, are expected to have risen 0.3 percent last month. The data may have been affected by hurricane Floyd, since the survey polls jobs the second week of the month, which was when Floyd hit, uprooting 2.3 million people.

A stock-market surge over the next month may be all it takes to provoke another interest rate hike, according to a summary of the Federal Reserve's Aug. 24 policy-making session which has been released after the customary six-week lag. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Fed officials concluded that the slowdown in economic growth needed to prevent a hike depends "importantly" on "less accommodative financial conditions" -- such as a continued "flattening of equity prices."

Other stocks to watch Friday include IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), 3dfx Interactive (Nasdaq: TDFX) and Hi/fn (Nasdaq: HIFN).

Yahoo's earnings kept Internet indices mildly positive while the rest of the market spun its wheels Thursday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index eked out a gain of 3.49 to 2,860.70, the S&P 500 slipped 7.76 to 1,317.64, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 51.29 to 10,537.05.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 6 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 0.8 points to 1329 at 7:24 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was up 3 350.10.


Asian markets slipped. The Nikkei 225 sank 0.41 percent to 18,062, Singapore's Strait Times index fell 0.26 percent to 2,114 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was back 0.01 percent to 13,112.


European markets were moving down as investors remained on the sidelines ahead of the U.S. employment data. London's FTSE 100 retreated 0.24 percent to 6,185. The CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.59 percent to 4,714 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.83 percent to 5,374 at 7:02 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.