The outcome of the Federal Reserve's meeting and the possible dissolution of WorldCom's merger with Sprint will attract attention Wednesday. Asian markets were up, Europe was mixed, and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.
Investors are anticipating no news for interest rates as the two-day meeting of the Fed's Open Market Committee winds down Wednesday. The Fed will make an official announcement on whether it will raise interest rates around 2 p.m. EDT.
But the ending of June's meeting is just the beginning of a new cycle of speculation; investors will have their ears perked for clues as what it intends to do at its next meeting, scheduled for Aug. 22, in the Fed's closing statement.
The European Commission said on Wednesday it had blocked the planned $120-billion merger of U.S. telecoms giants WorldCom Inc (Nasdaq: WCOM) and Sprint Corp (NYSE: FON) because of competition concerns.
GTE's ISP backbone, Genuity (Nasdaq: GENU), debuts at the tail-end of Tuesday's IPO parade. The company priced below its range at $11 a share, a sign it may not fare as well as Marvell (Nasdaq: MRVL), which shot up 278 percent in its opening day.
On the earnings front, investors will mull over 3Com's (Nasdaq: COMS) fourth quarter, reported after Tuesday's bell, while awaiting reports from Cabletron Systems (NYSE: CS) and Palm (Nasdaq: PALM) Wednesday.
Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Great Plains Software, Silicon Labs, 3Com and WorldCom.
Technology stocks pulled back Tuesday ahead of tomorrow's Federal Open Market Committee meeting. The Nasdaq lost 53 points to end at 3,859.01 while the Dow Jones industrial average fell 39 points to close at 10,504.46.
At the Bell
The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 32 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 4.5 to 1475 at 7:31 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.
The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 4 to 479.87.
Trading in Asia was up. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.53 to 17,370, Singapore's Strait Times index rose 1.21 percent to 2,061 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1.75 percent to 16,438.
European markets were mixed. London's FTSE 100 fell 0.06 percent to 6,371. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.38 percent to 6,543 and the DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.10 percent to 7,055 at 6:59 a.m. EST.
Reuters contributed to this report.