MARKET PREVIEW: Techs eye economic data, mergers

2 min read

The last bit of economic news before the Fed meeting and a couple of big mergers will occupy techs Monday. Asian and European markets were mixed, and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.


Monday's report on existing home sales is one of the last economic reports before the Fed kicks off its two-day meeting on interest rates Tuesday. Recent economic data has suggesting the economy is slowing, but Federal Reserve officials have hinted that won't necessarily stop them from raising rates again. Monday's data is expected to show that homes sold at an annual rate of 4.85 million in May, down from 4.88 million in April.

Liberty Media Group (NYSE: LMG), a cable television programming unit of AT&T (NYSE: T) will become the largest shareholder of UnitedGlobalCom (Nasdaq: UCOMP), a European telephone and cable television company, in a $3.3 billion deal that will give UnitedGlobalCom most of Liberty's international distribution and programming operations.

Another big deal is in the works for Dow component Philip Morris (NYSE: MO); the tobacco giant agreed Sunday to buy Nabisco Holdings (NYSE: NA) for $14.9 billion.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Monday's most actively traded issues: Amazon.com, Drkoop.com, Sprint and Liberty Media.

Internet stocks were roughed up Friday after some disturbing news about Amazon.com hit the Street. The Nasdaq composite fell 91 points to 3,845.61 while the Dow Jones industrial average gained 29 points to 10,4040.75.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 39 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 5.5 to 1469 at 7:31 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 20 to 476.19.


Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.22 to 16,925, Singapore's Strait Times index fell 0.35 percent to 2,027 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1.53 percent to 15,978.


European markets were also moving in different directions. London's FTSE 100 dropped 0.08 percent to 6,386. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.44 percent to 6,573 and the DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.44 percent to 6,573 at 6:57 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.