MARKET PREVIEW: Interest rate fears linger

2 min read

Greenspan's hold over techs may tighten Tuesday, as investors await the continuation of his congressional testimony this week. Asian markets were down, Europe moved up, and the Dow is set to open slightly higher.


Techs were making up for Monday's holiday with a little merger action; SBC Communications Inc (NYSE: SBC) said Tuesday it would buy Sterling Commerce Inc (NYSE: SE) a provider of software and services for online commerce, for $3.9 billion in cash.

On the economic front, investors will be awaiting Wednesday's testimony by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Greenspan will continue his congressional testimony Wednesday after last week's remarks that interest rates will probably keep rising until the economy slows sent techs tumbling along with the Dow late last week.

On the earnings front PSINet (Nasdaq: PSIX) and Nextel Communications Nasdaq: NXTL) will report quarterly results.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Tuesday's most actively traded issues: E.piphany, IBM, NeoMagic and Oracle.

Technology stocks gave back most of the gains they made Friday as interest-rate concerns and the volatility of a "double-witching" day trimmed the Nasdaq composite and the Dow by 137 points and 295 points, respectively.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 41 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 5.5 points to 1358 at 7:31 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 17 to 587.22.


Trading in Asia was on a downswing. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.78 percent to 19,390, Singapore's Strait Times index slipped 0.44 percent to 2,106 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.41 percent to 16,255.


European markets were moving up. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.70 percent to 6,124. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 1.26 percent to 6,042 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 1.54 percent to 7,077 at 6:57 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.