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Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Triple witching may stir techs

Triple witching should stir up techs Friday, as they spring to action after yesterday's rain-out by Hurricane Floyd. Asia and Europe moved up, and the Dow is set to open higher.


A "triple witching" session sparks volatility the third Friday of the last month of each quarter when index futures and options expire at the same time as individual stock options. Techs also have lost time to make up for after traders left early Thursday to avoid the effects of Hurricane Floyd.

In economic news, August housing starts will be released by the Commerce Department, and Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan will speak in Washington on the year 2000 computer bug.

Another e-commerce company will go public Friday; Vitria Technologies (Nasdaq: VITR) priced 3 million shares Thursday night at $16, slightly above their increased price range of $13 to $15 each. Shares were originally priced at $10 to $12 a share.

The following technology stocks to be among the day's most active issues: Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE), EBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY), Tibco Software Inc. (Nasdaq: TIBX) and Vitria Technologies (Nasdaq: VITR).

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 64 points to 10,737.46 while the Nasdaq trimmed 8 points to finish at 2,806.58 Thursday. Hurricane Floyd curtailed the normal flow of trading activity as many traders left work early.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 60 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 7.4 points to 1341 at 7:35 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was steady at 303.27.


Trading in Asia bounced back after the dollar jumped 1.96 to 107.07 yen following a week-long decline. Traders are speculating that international monetary authorities may intervene to stop the yen's ascent at next week's Group of Seven meeting. The Nikkei 225 recovered 0.29 percent to 17,342, Singapore's Strait Times index gained 2.01 percent to 2,132 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng increased 0.40 percent to 13,485.


European markets were also moving up. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.46 percent to 6,043. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.42 percent to 4,660 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.90 percent to 5,352 at 7:00 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.