MARKET PREVIEW: Techs brace for worst

2 min read
The slumping Nasdaq could be hit hard again Thursday on warnings from both Gateway and Altera. European markets were lower, while those in Asia were mixed. The Dow is set to open lower.


The news from Gateway (NYSE: GTW), released after market close Wednesday, couldn't be much worse. The company said its sales in the fourth quarter will miss estimates by half a billion dollars, with operating earning coming in well below First Call's target. Gateway also lowered estimates for fiscal 2001.

Shares of the company were hammered in after-hours trading yesterday, and continued to slide before the bell Thursday. The news hit the entire computer sector hard, with Intel (Nasdaq: INTC), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), IBM (NYSE: IBM), and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HWP) all down in pre-session action.

The chip sector could be hit today as well, with PLD maker Altera (Nasdaq: ALTR) warning after the bell yesterday. The company cut its sales target for the fourth quarter and now expects flat sequential growth.

NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan's largest mobile phone company, will buy a 16 percent stake in AT&T Wireless Group for $9.8 billion, in a move to promote its mobile Internet service in the U.S.

Two more economic indicators are due out before the bell this morning. Both the jobless claims and personal income spending figures will be released at 8:30 am EST.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: Altera (Nasdaq: ALTR), Brocade Communications (Nasdaq: BRCD), Gateway (NYSE: GTW), Tech Data (Nasdaq: TECD).

The Nasdaq fell again Wednesday, closing down 28.05 to 2,706.93. The Dow Jones industrial average ended the session up 121.53 to 10,629.11.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to open down 90 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for November futures contracts fell 11.30 to 1324 at 7:24 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index slipped 1 to 327.58.


The major Asian markets were mixed. The Nikkei 225 rose 140.87 to 14,648.51. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 184.67 to 13,984.39 while Singapore's Strait Times slipped 8.48 to 1,952.23.


European markets continued to slide. London's FTSE 100 was off 67.10 to 6,097.80, the CAC 40 in Paris shed 135.16 to 5,925.49 and the DAX in Frankfurt slipped 121.67 to 6,476.65 at 7:16 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.