MARKET PREVIEW: Microsoft a drag on techs

Larry Dignan
2 min read

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is likely to take technology issues lower Monday as concerns about slowing growth and antitrust remedies begin to pile up. The Dow is set to open lower.

Microsoft's warning Thursday about slowing growth will weigh heavily on tech stocks, especially PC makers and other companies focused on business customers. Meanwhile, reports that the government is likely to seek a breakup of the software giant could boost the competition.

Stocks affected by the Microsoft aftershocks include: Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW), Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) and Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT). Also watch Corel (Nasdaq: CORL) and Be Inc. (Nasdaq: BEOS). Microsoft's concerns about slowing business PC sales may also hit box makers. Watch Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), Compaq (NYSE: CPQ) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HWP) for aftershocks. BMC Software (Nasdaq: BMCS) may also see some action.

In other news, Gartner Group Data Quest said Monday global shipments of personal computers (PCs) in January to March, or the first quarter of calendar 2000, rose 15 percent from a year earlier to 29.98 million units. The gain mainly resulted from good sales in Asia, Pacific and Japanese markets, it said.

Also watch those earnings. Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN) and Anadigics (Nasdaq: ANAD) reported earnings before the bell. NBC Internet (Nasdaq: NBCI) reports after the closing bell. Other stocks to watch include Silicon Graphics (NYSE: SGI) and Critical Path (Nasdaq: CPTH), which reported after the bell Thursday.

At the Bell

The U.S. markets were closed Friday for Good Friday, and look to be off to a shaky start. The Dow Jones industrial average is set to open lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was off 7.4 points to 1,439 at 7:24 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.


Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 gained 1.25 percent to 18,480.15 and Singapore's Strait Times index lost 1.47 percent to 2,049.78. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was closed for holiday. European markets were closed on Monday for the Easter weekend.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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