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MARKET PREVIEW: Techs digest latest warnings

More warnings from the tech sector will be on investors' hearts and minds on Wednesday. Trading in Asia was mixed while European markets fell. Early indicators have the Dow set to open lower.


There won't be any love for Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT) and JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU) on Wednesday. After yesterday's close, Applied Materials managed to beat lowered estimates but slashed its earnings and revenue outlook. JDS Uniphase also cut its projections for the third quarter on visibility concerns.

The Wall Street Journal reported that tech bellwether Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) will be investigated by federal antitrust regulators over its investment in Corel (Nasdaq: CORL) and its purchase of Great Plains Software (Nasdaq: GPSI).

The U.S. markets had a lukewarm response to Fed Chairman Greenspan's testimony to the Senate Banking Committee yesterday. The markets initially rose on Greenspan's comments, which forecasted continued economic downside risk, but then shares slipped on the Chairman's equivocal stance on the speed of future interest rate cuts.

Shares of telecom service heavyweight Global Crossing (NYSE: GX) could see some action ahead of the release of its fourth-quarter results, due after market close. The Street is calling for an 89 cents a share loss versus the 20 cents a share loss in the year-ago quarter.

On the economic front, the business inventories report for December will be released before bell, with economists surveyed by Briefing.com expecting a 0.4 percent rise for the month. The November data showed a 0.5 percent increase.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: S1 (Nasdaq: SONE), Sycamore Networks (Nasdaq: SCMR), JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU) and Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT).

The Nasdaq ended Tuesday's session down 61.94 to 2,427.72 while the Dow Jones industrial average shed 43.45 to 10,903.32.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to open down 21 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 futures index slipped 2.60 to 1323.50 at 7:40 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index lost 5 to 259.03.


The major Asian markets were mixed. The Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng both posted small gains, up 9.36 to 13,284.06 and 17.70 to 15,860.42, respectively. Singapore's Straights Times lost 22.69 to 1,966.10.


European markets traded lower. London's FTSE 100 dropped 60.60 to 6,167.90, the CAC 40 in Paris shed 90.70 to 5,648.33, and the DAX in Frankfurt lost 96.77 to 6,461.16 at 7:12 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.