The U.S. markets look to rally on the news of last night's decision from the U.S. Supreme that may end Al Gore's bid for the White House. The major Asian markets were up while European markets were mixed. The Dow is set to open slightly lower.
In a late night ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 7-2 to reverse a Florida Supreme Court decision that allowed recounts. The court then split 5-4 in deciding that there was not enough time for new recounts before the meeting of the Electoral College.
Although the decision was remanded back to the lower state court, the decision is seen as a potentially fatal blow to Al Gore's race. For Wall Street, early indications point to a rally on the perceived settlement of the five-week old election campaign.
Compaq Computer (NYSE: CPQ) became the latest PC maker to join the warnings parade, disclosing after market close Tuesday that it will miss its fourth quarter numbers. The company said weakened consumer demand in the sector was to blame.
Compaq's guidance is the latest of a host of PC-related stocks to warn for the upcoming quarter.
The November retail sales report will be released before the bell. Investors will be looking for further indications of an economic slowdown that could prompt the Federal Reserve Board to ease its hawkish stance on interest rates.
Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Engage (Nasdaq: ENGA), Net2Phone (Nasdaq: NTOP), ON Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ONNN) and Compaq Computer (NYSE: CPQ).
The Nasdaq slipped on Tuesday, down 83.33 to 2,931.77. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 42.47 to 10,768.27.
At the Bell
The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to open down 4.6 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for December futures fell 0.60 to 1398.70 at 7:24 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.
The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index dropped 9 to 372.75.
The major Asian markets all gained ground. The Nikkei 225 moved up 54.04 to 15,168.68, Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 292.13 to 15,621.73 and Singapore's Strait Times gained 29.95 to 2,013.66.
European markets were mixed. London's FTSE 100 rose 12.90 to 6,403.30, the CAC 40 in Paris dropped 36.36 to 6,011.30 and the DAX in Frankfurt was off 35.11 to 6,698.48 at 7:11 a.m. EST.
Reuters contributed to this report.