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MARKET PREVIEW: Can techs keep Nasdaq above 3,700?

Techs should continue to carry the Nasdaq above the 3,700 mark as solid earnings and last minute Christmas shopping keeps investors in the holiday spirit. Asian and European markets surged, and the Dow is set to open slightly higher.


Software maker Adobe Systems Inc (Nasdaq: ADBE) and Agilent Technologies (NYSE: A), the spin-off of Hewlett-Packard's (NYSE: HWP) test and measurement technology business, should both continue to surge after reporting better-than-expected earnings after Thursday's bell.

Progress Software (Nasdaq: PRGS) should also get some action after it announced a stock-split along with its fourth-quarter results before Friday's opening.

Avnet Inc. (NYSE: AVT) announced a global distribution agreement with Philips Semiconductors Inc., a subsidiary of Koninklijke Philips Electronics(NYSE: PHG), which could generate more than $1 billion in revenue over the next three years.

Investors will also have their eye on e-tailers, as (Nasdaq: AMZN), eToys (Nasdaq: ETYS) and others get the last rush of shoppers heading up to Christmas.

A strong line-up of IPOs is on deck; C-bridge Internet (Nasdaq: CBIS), priced at $16 a share, above its upwardly revised range of $12-14. After failing to debut Thursday with its price target hoisted to $28, OnDisplay (Nasdaq: ONDS) should finally debut Friday. Egreetings Network (Nasdaq: EGRT)is also slated to debut.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded stocks: Adobe Systems, Jabil Circuit, KLA-Tencor, Manugistics Group and Maxtor.

Big name technology stocks managed to carry the Nasdaq to another record high, though the overall market remained tepid in the face of a strong job growth. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index rose 93.11 to 3,715.06, the S&P 500 inched up 5.59 to 1,418.78, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average moved up 19.57 to 11,244.89. Inter@ctive Week's @100 Index advanced 114.57 to 6,125.56.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 20 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 2.6 points to 1440 at 7:34 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was up 12 to 527.38.


Trading in Asia was moving up with the exception of the Nikkei 225, which fell 0.09 percent to 18,095. Singapore's Strait Times index gained 2.49 percent to 2,372 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 2.67 percent to 15,986.


European markets were moving up. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.46 percent to 6,702. The CAC 40 in Paris jumped 0.66 percent to 5,577 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 1.00 percent to 6,405 at 7:04 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.