MARKET PREVIEW: H-P earnings may revive techs

2 min read

Techs should pick up speed again Thursday as earnings from Hewlett-Packard and Applied Materials take the stage. Asia and Europe were mixed, and the Dow is set to open slightly higher.


As techs absorb the good news that October's Consumer Price Index showed an showed inflation in control, they'll also get a chance to rehash the Fed's decision to raise rates. Late Thursday, the Federal Reserve will release minutes from its Oct. 5 meeting, which should yield insight into the Fed's views on the economy and what their decision was based on.

Techs should recover from yesterday's afternoon slump on the strength of better-than-expected earnings from Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HWP) and Applied Materials Inc. (Nasdaq: AMAT) that came in after Wednesday's bell.

Another hot IPO is on deck for trading Thursday: Agilent (Proposed ticker: A) priced at $30 a share for its 65 million-share public offering, well above its revised range of $26 to $28 a share. Symyx Technologies (Proposed ticker: SMMX) will also debut with shares at $14 each, the top of the range. HNC spin-off Retek (Proposed ticker: RETK), a provider of supply chain management software for retailers, will offer shares at $15 each, above its recently raised range of $12 to $14.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: Agilent Technologies, Applied Materials, Hewlett-Packard, NeoMagic and Priceline.com.

Technology stocks finally cooled off a bit Wednesday as the Nasdaq composite chopped off 26 points to close at 3,269.37 on record volume of 1.6 billion shares. The Dow closed off 49 points to 10,883.09.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 28 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 3.6 points to 1422 at 7:40 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 5 to 428.45.


Trading in Asia was on mixed. The Nikkei 225 rose 1.41 percent to 18,532, Singapore's Strait Times index slipped 1.13 percent to 2,204 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.12 percent to 14,721.


European markets were also moving in mixed directions. London's FTSE 100 lost 0.42 percent to 6,428. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.18 percent to 5,188 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.40 percent to 5,894 at 7:14 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.