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MARKET PREVIEW: Can the Nasdaq hold 2,000?

Two economic reports and another batch of earnings will determine whether the Nasdaq holds the 2,000 mark. Asian and European markets were mixed, and the Dow is set to open flat to slightly higher.


Reports on manufacturing and home sales will catch investors' attention Wednesday. The Commerce Department's March report on durable-goods orders, due before the market opens, is expected to show an increase of 0.5 percent from the preceding month, up from a fall of 0.4 percent in February. New-home sales for March, due out just after the market opens, are expected to show the annual rate slipped to 910,000 from 911,000 in February.

Investors will also be digesting Tuesday's earnings. Online retailer Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) posted a first-quarter loss that was narrower than expected on stronger-than-expected sales. The company also said it's comfortable with previous forecasts for an operating profit by the end of 2000.

Applied Micro Circuits' (Nasdaq: AMCC) first-quarter earnings were in line with analysts' estimates. But the communications chipmaker warned that earnings and revenue for the current quarter will be sharply below Wall Street expectations.

Earnings from Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) and Electronic Data Systems (NYSE: EDS) are on deck for after the market closes Wednesday.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Amazon.com, Applied Micro Circuits, BMC Software and LSI Logic.

Sluggish earnings reports and a disappointing consumer-confidence report conspired to push stocks lower Tuesday, as the Nasdaq composite fell 43 points to close at 2,016.54. The Dow Jones industrial average lopped off 78 points to finish at 10,454.34.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open 2 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 0.20 points to 1216.70 at 7:15 a.m. EDT in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 5 to 186.85.


Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 rose 84.32 to 1,3827.50, Singapore's Straits Times index fell 15.31 to 1,670.83, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 25.06 to 1,3249.55.


European markets were also moving in different directions. London's FTSE 100 fell 25.20 to 5,815.10, the CAC 40 in Paris shed 14.20 to 5,410.23 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 3.42 to 6,127.99.

Reuters contributed to this report.