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MARKET PREVIEW: Microsoft poised for rebound

The anti-climactic ruling in Microsoft's antitrust trial may not be a big surprise, but a rebound in the software giant's stock Tuesday could help the Nasdaq cut its losses. Asian markets were down, Europe moved up, and the Dow is set to open slightly higher.


After posting its biggest one-day point loss in history, partly on the hefty losses of Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT)’s stock, the Nasdaq may regain ground Tuesday. Shares of Microsoft rose slightly in Europe overnight, and were up 1 15/32 to 92 11/32 on the Island ECN in after-hours trading.

Microsoft said it plans to appeal Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson’s ruling that it used its monopoly power to stifle competition in Web browsers.

In economic news, the Conference Board, a private research organization, will release the index of leading economic indicators for February. The index is expected to have declined 0.1 percent, following January’s 0.3 percent gain.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Tuesday's most actively traded issues: Lockheed Martin, Metron Technology, Microsoft and StarMedia.

Also keep an eye out for earnings preannouncements. It's confession season for the first quarter.

Microsoft-inspired panic gripped Wall Street Monday as the Nasdaq composite plunged 349 points, or 8 percent, to 4,224.18. Investors bailed out of the techs in favor of blue-chip issues as the Dow shot up 300 points to 11,221.93.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 21 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 2.8 points to 1531 at 7:35 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 52 to 598.87.


Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.64 percent to 20,594, Singapore's Strait Times index slipped 0.63 percent to 2,098 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 2.95 percent to 16,892.


European markets were moving up. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.01 percent to 6,4092. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 1.56 percent to 6,226 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 1.38 percent to 7,531 at 7:11 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.