Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Techs hope to escape Cisco&#039&#039s shadow

Technology stocks could revive Thursday as Cisco Systems' grip on the market loosens, a new wave of earnings hits and some economic news kicks off the day. The Dow is set to open higher.

Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) led the Nasdaq lower Wednesday after reported its first-ever quarterly net loss. The Dow dipped as well, but the index was supported by a positive earnings forecast from General Electric (NYSE: GE).

Another round of earnings, along with some economic news, should distract technology investors Thursday.

Initial jobless claims are also due and will be scrutinized for signs of weakness in the job markets. Economists expect the number of claims to have slipped to 416,000 last week from 421,000 the prior week.

Stocks to Watch

  • Activision (Nasdaq: ATVI), the maker of gaming software, said it had a fourth-quarter profit of 3 cents a share, topping First Call's estimate of a penny a share. Revenue was also 22 percent higher than a year ago, and the company raised its full-year 2002 earnings per share estimates by 4 cents to 80 cents a share and its 2003 earnings forecast to $1.09 a share.

  • Internet Capital Group (Nasdaq: ICGE) reported its first-quarter results. It's been hard for analysts to estimate earnings for the company, which owns stakes in 65 Internet commerce businesses and makes its money by taking them public or selling them. Wall Street is likely to focus on the company's $1.2 billion accounting charge in the quarter ended March 31 to account for the plunge in the value of its holdings. The company will also halve its 100-person workforce by the end of the next month.

  • EMC (NYSE: EMC) could also catch some attention; the maker of corporate computer-data storage systems said it plans to repurchase as many as 50 million, or about 2 percent, of its common shares.

  • Global Crossing (NYSE: GX) also reported its first-quarter results. The provider of international phone and data services said it had a first-quarter loss of 69 cents a share, excluding discontinued operations and merger and severance-related expenses. First Call had been expecting it to lose 88 cents.

    The company's net loss applicable to common shareholders widened to $675.4 million, or 76 cents a share, from a loss of $348.1 million, or 45 cents a share, in the same period last year. Global Crossing also reaffirmed its plans for spending about $10 billion for 2000-2001. Many telecommunications firms have delayed or curtailed their capital spending amid the economic slowdown.

    At the Bell

    The Dow Jones industrial average may open 71 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 8.3 points to 1266 at 7:15 a.m. EDT in 24-hour electronic trading.

    Reuters contributed to this report.