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MARKET PREVIEW: Techs eye Presidential settlement

Wall Street will be following developments at the U.S. Supreme Court Monday in a hearing that could finally settle the Presidential election mess. All of the major Asian and European markets were up and the Dow is set to open higher.


The second round of the Presidential Supreme Court battle is scheduled to take place this morning, with the court hearing arguments about the legality of vote recounts in Florida. The Florida Supreme Court gave Gore a short-lived court victory Friday ruling in favor of a recount, but the U.S. Supreme Court halted the effort Saturday afternoon, pending today's hearing.

The Wall Street Journal reported that News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) may be forced to pay $2 billion to buy out privately-held Saban Entertainment's stake in Fox Family Worldwide. The paper said the purchase could affect News Corp.'s ability to bid for the Hughes Electronics (NYSE: GMH) unit of General Motors.

According to the Washington Post, a majority of the Federal Trade Commission is now prepared to approve the $183 billion AOL (NYSE: AOL) merger with Time Warner Inc. (NYSE TWX). The formal vote is expected Thursday, but may be postponed as in the past.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Monday's most actively traded issues: Adtran (Nasdaq: ADTN), Intraware (Nasdaq: ITRA), and QSC (Nasdaq: QSCG).

The Nasdaq closed Friday's session up 164.77 to 2,917.43. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 95.55 to 10,712.91.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to open up 244, reflecting a rebound from a late Friday decline. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for December futures rose 31.7 to 1389.20 at 7:25 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 19 to 373.46.


The major Asian markets gained ground. The Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng both posted triple-digit gains, up 319.19 to 15,015.70, and 219.21 to 15,408.54, respectively. Singapore's Strait Times gained 44.13 to 2,004.29.


European markets were positive as well. London's FTSE 100 was up 27.7 to 6,316.00, the CAC 40 in Paris rose 118.58 to 6,057.90 and the DAX in Frankfurt gained 76.66 to 6,767.91 at 7:14 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.