Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Profit warnings rattle tech sector

More profit warnings await investors Tuesday. Asian markets were mixed, Europe was in the red, and the Dow is set to open sharply lower.


There isn't much economic news out Tuesday to distract investors from the profit-warning parade. The government reading of factory orders for February is due out, and is expected to show an increase of 0.2 percent, compared with a 3.8 percent decline in January

Ariba (Nasdaq: ARBA) is the day's warning headliner; the maker B2B software said late Monday that it will post a second-quarter loss of 20 cents a share, rather than the earnings of 5 cents a share that were expected. In addition, the company will cut a third of its work force and terminate its proposed merger with Agile Software (Nasdaq: AGIL).

Broadvision (Nasdaq: BVSN) also warned; the company said it will post a loss in its first quarter, miss analysts' sales estimates by at least $45 million and lay off 15 percent of its workforce.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Tuesday's most actively traded issues: Ariba, Broadvision, Inktomi and Electroglas.

Technology stocks lost ground again Monday as the Nasdaq composite fell 57 points to close at 1,782.90. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 101 points to finish at 9,777.93. Even though a key barometer for the manufacturing sector increased for a second straight month, investors weren't ready to commit to any significant buying.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open 81 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was off 9.4 points to 1141 at 7:15 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 10 to 157.73.


Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 rose 186.61 to 13,124.47, Singapore's Strait Times index fell 4.79 to 1,644.11 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 143.08 to 12,584.22.


European markets moved into the red. London's FTSE 100 fell 98.90 to 5,519.60, the CAC 40 in Paris lost 153.83 to 5056.65, and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 153.95 to 5,606.81.

Reuters contributed to this report.