MARKET PREVIEW: Can Dell pull techs out of a slump?

2 min read

Technology stocks look likely to pull out of their slump thanks to good news from Dell. Asian markets were mixed, Europe moved up, and the Dow is set to open sharply higher.


Dell Computer (Nasdaq: DELL) will be active Thursday after it said late Wednesday that it expects to meet first-quarter profit and revenue forecasts. The fact that it isn't reducing its outlook is apparently encouragement enough for investors who have been battered in recent weeks by tech company warnings. Dell didn't say anything about what to expect for the rest of the fiscal year.

Akamai Technologies (Nasdaq: AKAM) also announced some good news Wedensday; the maker of multimedia software said that while first-quarter revenue will be below expectations, its loss for the quarter will be less than expected.

Aspen Technology, Akamai, Dell Computer and PictureTel should be among Thursday's most actively traded issues.

Technology stocks slid further Wednesday as worries about corporate earnings continued to overshadow the market. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index fell 34.21 points to 1,638.79, while the S&P 500 went down 3.21 to 1,103.25. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 29.71 points to 9,515.42. Inter@ctive Week's @100 Index declined 40.28 to 1,818.60.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open 168 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 20 points to 1132 at 7:15 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 2 to 136.77.


Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 rose 138.60 to 13,381.38, Singapore's Strait Times index gained 54.89 to 1,676.88 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 520.51 to 12,063.71.


European markets moved up. London's FTSE 100 rose 70.80 to 5,606.50, the CAC 40 in Paris rose 71.40 to 5,143.22 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 127.02 to 5,724.68.

Reuters contributed to this report.