MARKET PREVIEW: Microsoft hurls wrench into tech rally

2 min read

After sending international indices into a funk and messing up the currency markets, Microsoft is ready to cause trouble in the U.S. Monday. Asia was down, Europe was mixed, and the Dow is set to open significantly lower.


It's been less than a week since Microsoft was added to the Dow Jones industrials, and the software giant is already screwing things up. Just as techs were beginning to rally after economic news suggesting the inflation outlook was good, initial results from the antitrust trial against monopolist Microsoft have hurled a wrench into the markets.

Microsoft shares dropped nearly 9 to 82 7/8 on Instinet electronic trading from its Friday close of 91 9/16. The antitrust ruling against Microsoft also hit equity markets overseas Monday and put the dollar down against the euro.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Monday's most actively traded stocks: F5 Networks, Microsoft, Peapod and Sun Microsystems.

Also look to America Online Inc. (NYSE: AOL), Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) or any of Microsoft's many bitter competitors for some action Monday.

Internet and hardware stocks made strong gains once again Friday, lifting the Nasdaq composite 46 points to yet another record close of 3,102.20. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 65 points to 10,704.48.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 110 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 14.10 points to 1371 at 7:39 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was up 11 to 382.45.


Trading in Asia was mostly down, as Microsoft dragged down S&P 500 futures. The Nikkei 225 sank 0.62 percent to 18,240 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.79 percent to 12,733. Singapore's Strait Times index was closed for a holiday.


European markets were mixed. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.02 percent to 6,358. The CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.29 percent to 4,961 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.52 percent to 5,628 at 7:14 a.m. EST. Microsoft shares also fell in Europe.

Reuters contributed to this report.