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MARKET PREVIEW: In like a bull, out like a bear?

Techs may end the month on a down note Friday, unless Thursday's late-day gains marked the beginning of a rebound, and not just an aberration from their downward path to correction. Asian and European markets were mixed, and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.


After its third straight large sell-off Thursday, the Nasdaq is down more than 10 percent this week. Though a late rally helped it regain more than 100 points late in the day, techs may not be able to regain much ground Friday.

In economic news, personal income for February is expected to have gained 0.3 percent, compared to a 0.7 percent rise in January. Factory orders are expected to fall 1.0 percent after a 1.1 percent decline in January.

A couple strong IPOs are priced for debut; intelligent switch maker ArrowPoint Communications (Nasdaq: ARPT) priced at $34 a share, and ValueClick (Nasdaq: VCLK), an Internet advertising services firm, priced shares at $19 each.

Chip maker Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) may see gains; the stock was up in after-hours trading on news of a tax settlement that will save it $600 million.

Stocks to watch Friday include AT&T (NYSE: T), AMD (NYSE: AMD), (Nasdaq: HOTJ) Infonet (NYSE: IN) and Hutchinson Technology (Nasdaq: HTCH).

In the end, not even blue chips could resist the downward trend that kept bloodying tech stocks Thursday. A burst of buying in the last half hour of the session prevented the Nasdaq Composite Index from closing at its lowest level since early February, but the tech-heavy index still ended the day down 186.42 to 4,458.25, its second straight day of a triple-digit point loss.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 44 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 6 points to 1510 at 7:31 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 26 to 610.50.


Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 slipped 0.51 percent to 20,337, Singapore's Strait Times index rose 0.75 percent to 2,132 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.35 percent to 17,406.


European markets were also moving in different directions. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.66 percent to 6,487. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.59 percent to 6,276 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.24 percent to 7,663 at 7:01 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.