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MARKET PREVIEW: Techs await Microsoft ruling

Microsoft will make headline news again Thursday, as investors await the final ruling in its 2-year trial. Asian and European markets moved up, and the Dow is set to open slightly higher.


Now that Microsoft has filed its final arguments, investors have only to wait for the judge's final ruling. The company argued late Wednesday against the proposed breakup, and requested a 12-month delay if there is any split-up, instead of the suggested 4.

Thursday's economic data will include the National Association of Purchasing Management's index for May and an April report on construction spending.

On the IPO front, ONI Systems (Nasdaq: ONIS) priced its IPO at $25 Wednesday night for trading Thursday. CrossWorlds Software (Nasdaq: CWLD), which was slated to debut Wednesday, has yet to be given a price tag.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: Comverse Technology, Microsoft and Net2Phone.

Technology stocks lost ground in light trading Wednesday as the Nasdaq composite fell 58 points to 3,401.07. Even some decent economic news couldn't lift the blue-chip sector as the Dow trimmed 5 points to close at 10,521.99.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 37 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 5 to 1427 at 7:31 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 15 to 421.32.


Trading in Asia was on an upswing. The Nikkei 225 rose 2.22 to 16,694, Singapore's Strait Times index rose 2.35 percent to 1,837 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1.55 percent to 14,941.


European markets were also moving ahead. London's FTSE 100 gained 0.71 percent to 6,404. The CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.47 percent to 6,456 and the DAX in Frankfurt was up 1.44 percent to 7,212 at 7:05 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.