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MARKET PREVIEW: Market troubles overshadow earnings

Earnings are likely to get short shrift again Thursday as investors try to guess how low the Nasdaq can go. Asian markets were mixed, Europe moved down, and the Dow is set to open slightly higher.


Instead of looking at individual stocks, investors will be focused on what wild dips may lie ahead for the tech sector again Thursday. The Nasdaq plunged another 7 percent Wednesday, and this time, the Dow went with it.

Companies reporting quarterly results today include Ameritrade (Nasdaq: AMTD), Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW), Unisys (NYSE: UIS), Iomega (NYSE: IOM), Webvan (Nasdaq: WBVN), KLA Tencor (Nasdaq: KLAC), Juniper (Nasdaq: JNPR) and Gateway (NYSE: GTW).

Brave IPOs stepping up to the plate Thursday include speech recognition software firm, Nuance Communications (Nasdaq: NUAN), priced at $17, and Chinese language internet portal, (Nasdaq: SINA), also priced at $17. Many other IPOs have been put off due to market conditions.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: AMD, Altera, Rambus, Redback Networks and Seagate.

Another day, another beating for technology stocks. The only difference Wednesday was the blue-chip stocks got sucked into the selloff, too. The Nasdaq composite closed off 286 points to 3,769.51, well below the 4,000-point threshold, while the Dow Jones industrial average shed 162 points to 11,125.13.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 55 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 7.3 points to 1484 at 7:31 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 43 to 497.89.


Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 dropped 1.47 percent to 20,526, Singapore's Strait Times index gained 1.34 percent to 2,163 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 1.35 percent to 16,352.


European markets were moving down. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.43 percent to 1,369. The CAC 40 in Paris fell 0.08 percent to 6,233 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.45 percent to 7,409 at 6:59 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.