MARKET PREVIEW: Jobs data may make techs' day

2 min read

Employment data will grease techs up for some fast and slick moves Friday, as the market meets a pair of big IPOs, and potential news from Microsoft's trial. Asia was mixed, Europe edged down, and the Dow is set to open slightly higher.


Techs will base their moves on the October employment report due out before Friday's opening bell. If numbers come in on target with consensus estimates, the market will assume the Federal Reserve won't raise interest rates at its Nov. 16 meeting. According to forecasts, the unemployment rate should have stayed steady at 4.2 percent, while about 313,000 new jobs were created last month.

Online grocer Webvan (Nasdaq: WBVN) is finally bringing its wares to market after being delayed for breaking quiet period regulations. The company priced 25 million shares at $15 a pop, up from the estimated range of $11 to $13. Cobalt Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: COBT) will also make a big splash; after raising its estimated range from $14-$16 to $20-22 per share. The maker of easy-to-use Linux-based server appliances priced at $22.

Expect these stocks to be among Friday's most active: CompUSA, Microsoft, Net2Phone, Teligent, Varian Semiconductor and Webvan.

Optimistic investors pushed technology stocks up again Thursday as the Nasdaq composite moved up 28 points to another record close of 3,056.10. The Dow gained 31 points to close at 10,639.57.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 26 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 3.4 points to 1372 at 7:36 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was up 6 to 371.04.


Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.04 percent to 18,354, Singapore's Strait Times index gained 0.08 percent to 2,111 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.30 percent to 13,610.


European markets were moving down. London's FTSE 100 sank 0.33 percent to 6,310. The CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.01 percent to 4,943 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt shed 0.34 percent to 5,617 at 7:18 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.