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MARKET PREVIEW: AT&T comes calling

Earnings from AT&T, along with a couple of mergers, should hold investors attention on Monday. The major Asian markets gained ground while those in Europe were mixed. Early indicators have the Dow set to open higher.


AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) reported fourth-quarter profits that matched reduced analyst expectations, but saw a 51 percent drop year-over-year due to intense competition and weakness in the long-distance telephone market. AT&T Wireless (NYSE: AWE) will also report its results this morning.

Shares of Dallas Semiconductor (NYSE: DS) should be on the move after analog chip maker Maxim Integrated Products (Nasdaq: MXIM) said it would purchase the company for about $2.5 billion in stock.

Business-to-business software company Ariba Inc. (Nasdaq: ARBA) said it would acquire Agile Software (Nasdaq: AGIL) in a deal worth $2.55 billion.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Monday's most actively traded issues: Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), Dallas Semiconductor (NYSE: DS), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HWP) and ImproveNet (Nasdaq: IMPV).

The Nasdaq closed Friday's session up 27.02 to 2,781.30 while the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 69.54 to 10,659.98.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to open down 8 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 futures index fell 3.30 to 1360, below fair value, at 7:28 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index slipped 1 to 320.13.


The major Asian markets closed higher. The Nikkei 225 gained 149.22 to 13,845.28, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 55.61 to 16,099.82 and Singapore's Straights Times moved up 26.16 to 1,932.05.


European markets were mixed. London's FTSE 100 inched up 2.90 to 6,297.20, the CAC 40 in Paris lost 28.73 to 5,896.89 and in Frankfurt the DAX shed 2.69 to 6,692.51 at 7:16 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.