MARKET PREVIEW: Strong earnings week may end with a whimper

2 min read

Lucent's weaker-than-expected quarterly report will add a somber note to this week's earnings euphoria Friday. Asian markets were down, Europe was mixed and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.


After strong reports from techs helped the Nasdaq Composite Index post two record closes in the first three days of trading, the week isn't likely to end with a big bang. Lucent missed lowered expectations and Gateway just hit its downwardly revised target.

Internet access provider Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM) met expectations for its first profitable quarter, and Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) beat estimates. Nevertheless, Sun and Excite@Home followed Lucent and Gateway down in after-hours trading.

The year's first IPO will make its debut Friday. Neoforma (Proposed ticker: NEOF) will offer 7 million shares in an upwardly revised range of $10 to $12 a share.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: Atmel, C-Cube, Gateway, Inktomi, Lucent and Sun Microsystems

Strong earnings from the likes of Apple and IBM pushed the Nasdaq composite up 38 points to another record close of 4,189.50 Thursday while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 138 points to finish at 11,351.30.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones Industrial Average may open about 8 points lower.The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 1.1 points to 1455 at 7:31 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was up 7 to 580.97.


Trading in Asia was on a downswing. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.68 percent to 18,878, Singapore's Strait Times index slipped 1.60 percent to 2,278 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.70 percent to 15,108.


European markets were slumping, with the exception of London's FTSE 100, which rose 0.04 percent to 6,351. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.23 percent to 5,696 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.61 percent to 7,069 at 7:01 a.m. EST.

-- Reuters contributed to this report.