MARKET PREVIEW: Techs eye economic data

A barrage of economic data takes center stage Tuesday, as investors try to guess the Federal Reserve's next move on interest rates. European markets moved up while Asia fell. The Dow is set to open lower.


The most-watched report will be the Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index, set for release shortly after the markets open. Analysts surveyed by Briefing.com predict a drop to 111.0 from 114.4 in January.

Two other reports are also on tap. Durable goods orders for January are expected to slip 2.5 percent, compared with the 2.1 percent increase reported for December. New home sales are predicted to come in at an annual rate of 923,000, down from the 975,000 rate seen in the prior month.

Extreme Networks (Nasdaq: EXTR) and Foundry Networks (Nasdaq: FDRY) should also see some action. Both stocks were downgraded from "strong buy" to "buy" at Lehman Brothers.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Tuesday's most "http:="" www.zdii.com="" industry_list.asp?mode="news&doc_id=ZE507692&pic=Y"" rel="">actively traded issues: Electronic Data Systems (NYSE: EDS), GoAmerica (Nasdaq: GOAM) and SCI Systems (NYSE: SCI).

Comments from a former Federal Reserve governor regarding a possible interest rate cut--possibly as early as this week--helped boost U.S. markets on Monday. The Nasdaq rose 45.99 to 2,308.50 while the Dow Jones industrial average moved up 200.63 to 10,642.53.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to open down 34 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 futures index slipped 4.10 to 1269.50 at 7:40 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index gained 8 to 237.85.


The major Asian markets moved lower. The Nikkei 225 closed down 141.28 to 13,059, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 395.49 to 14,834.73, and Singapore's Straights Times closed down 23.17 to 1,937.14.


European markets gained ground. London's FTSE 100 inched up 2.30 to 5946, the CAC 40 in Paris added 54.39 to 5377.23, and the DAX in Frankfurt moved up 99.92 to 6175.26 at 7:22 a.m. EST.

ZDII staff and Reuters contributed to this roundup.