Late Tuesday, Democrat Al Gore's presidential campaign got a major boost as Florida's highest court ruled unanimously that state election officials must accept hand-counted presidential ballots from certain counties, as long as the tally is completed by Sunday. For the markets, uncertainty continues as the election drama drags on.
The Nasdaq, weighed down by politics and slumping earnings, finished yesterday's session off 4.19 to 2,871.45, its lowest close of the year.
Intuit (Nasdaq: INTU) should see some action today after it easily topped analysts' estimates in its first quarter. The company reported a smaller than expected loss after the bell Tuesday but its shares lost some ground in after-hours trading.
Chip-makers Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) and Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM) yesterday announced that they have settled a legal dispute regarding trade secrets. Intel had alleged that Broadcom was trying to steal trade secrets by hiring three former Intel workers.
Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Intuit (Nasdaq: INTU), Portal Software (Nasdaq: PRSF), Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL).
Tech stocks slipped slightly Tuesday as the Nasdaq composite closed off 4.19 to 2,871.45. The Dow Jones industrial average ended the session up 31.85 to 10,494.50.
At the Bell
The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to open down 125 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for November futures contracts fell 16 to 1,339.70 at 7:21 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.
The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index lost 4 to 354.15.
Asian markets were all down. The Nikkei 225 was off 107.15 to 14,301.31. Singapore's Strait Times index shed 13.31 to 1,911.07 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost a whopping 415.79, or 2.74 percent, to finish at 14,772.51.
European markets slumped as well, down triple-digit all around. London's FTSE 100 lost 106.20 to 6,275.90, the CAC 40 in Paris dropped 108.68 to 5,972.34 and the DAX in Frankfurt was down 155.28 to 6,522.79 at 7:09 a.m. EST.
Reuters contributed to this report.