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MARKET PREVIEW: Techs eye earnings and IPOs

Earnings from the likes of Applied Materials, and four new IPOs will grab investors' attention Tuesday. Asian markets were down, Europe was mixed, and the Dow is set to open slightly higher.


The broader markets may not be too enthusiastic Tuesday, with oil hitting its highest price since the Gulf War 9 years ago, at over $30 a barrel. But techs are likely to break away from the general trend again, with earnings and IPOs taking over center stage from Monday's spate of mergers.

Earnings include reports from semiconductor wafer fabrication equipment-maker Applied Materials Inc.(Nasdaq: AMAT), which has been rising to new highs ahead of the report, as well as Network Appliance Corp (Nasdaq: NTAP) and Nextlink Communications (Nasdaq: NXLK).

Four IPOs are priced for Tuesday debut, including Chordiant Software Inc. (Nasdaq: CHRD) at $18, Inc. (Nasdaq: VSTY) at $10, Savvis Communication Corp. (Nasdaq: SVVS) at $24 and VantageMed (Nasdaq: VMDC) at $12.

Baby Bell SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC) may get some negative attention Tuesday, after the U.S. Department of Justice recommended late Monday that its plans to do that in Texas be blocked. This is a setback to the company's effort to provide long-distance service to its local phone customers.

In economic news, reports on industrial production and capacity utilization for January are expected to show 0.6 percent rise, and a gain to 81.6 percent, respectively.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Tuesday's most actively traded issues:, Macrovision, Net2Phone and Rare Medium.

The Dow Jones industrial average moved up 95 points to close at 10,519.84 Monday while the Nasdaq composite gained 23 points to finish at 4,418.57. Once again, the tech sector salvaged an otherwise rocky trading day.

Strong economic data suggesting inflation remains in check helped spark another rally on Wall Street Tuesday as the Nasdaq composite shot up 105 points to close at another record high of 4,427.12.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 14 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 1.8 points to 1400 at 7:31 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 2 to 593.61.


Asian markets fell back. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.96 percent to 19,367, Singapore's Strait Times index slipped 1.65 percent to 2,199 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 2.91 percent to 16,688.


European markets were moving in different directions. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.85 percent to 6,119. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.94 percent to 6,209 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.16 percent to 7,632 at 7:11 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.