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MARKET PREVIEW: Techs hold out for Fed news

With just one day left ahead of the Federal Reserve's meeting on interest rates, trading should be light Monday. Asian and European markets were down, and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.


Strong reports on fourth-quarter gross domestic product and April employment have given investors cause to expect the Fed will hike interest rates by a half-point for some time now. While markets shouldn't slump much more if the Fed does what's expected of it at Tuesday's meeting, trading should be light until the news is out.

A few earnings continue to trickle in;, Inc. (Nasdaq: TIXX) and UnitedGlobalCom, Inc. (Nasdaq:UCOMA) are among companies slated to report quarterly results Monday.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) may get more negative attention after it acknowledged a flaw in its Internet browser that could let hackers steal "cookies." The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the flaw could give hackers easy access to the sensitive data sometimes contained in cookies. The flaw would affect anyone using the two most recent versions of Microsoft's Web browser, roughly two-thirds of Web users, according to the article.

Stocks which may be among Monday's most actively traded issues include Dell, EMC, Lycos, Metrocall and NetSol International.

Technology stocks followed the rest of the market in rising on the final session of the week. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 29.49 to 3,529.07 on Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 63.40 to 10,609.37.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 42 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 5.7 to 1425 at 7:43 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was up 5 to 458.57.


Trading in Asia was on a downswing. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.25 to 17,313, Singapore's Strait Times index slipped 0.75 percent to 2,011 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 1.53 percent to 14,881.


European markets were also moving down. London's FTSE 100 fell 0.54 percent to 6,249. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.28 percent to 6,431 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.62 percent to 7,223 at 7:15 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.