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MARKET PREVIEW: Techs look to earnings

Investors will look to more earnings Wednesday, hoping they can support the tech rally. Asian markets were up, Europe moved down, and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.


The Nasdaq reversed a midday tumble to gain 52.05 points, or 2.46 percent, to 2,168.20 at Tuesday's close, adding to strong gains in April. Without the economic news that boosted performance Tuesday, investors have only earnings to look to.

Priceline (Nasdaq: PCLN) should catch some attention; the company posted a smaller-than-expected loss in its first quarter even though sales fell 21 percent from the year-ago quarter. The online travel agent and bidding site also reaffirmed earlier forecasts for the second quarter, with sales expected to rise 10 percent to 15 percent. It also expects to post a pro-forma profit during the second quarter.

But investors will have to wait until after the bell for most of the day's earnings. Slated to report after the market close are business software makers: Macromedia (Nasdaq: MACR), Compuware (Nasdaq: CPWR) and PictureTel (Nasdaq: PCTL). Chipmaker Cirrus Logic (Nasdaq: CRUS) will also report.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Ingram Micro, Loudcloud and Priceline.

After a sluggish start, technology stocks closed higher Tuesday on hopes that an economic rebound was on deck. The Dow Jones industrial average surged to close at its highest level since mid-February.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open 39 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 4.4 points to 1268 at 7:15 a.m. EDT in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 10 to 209.23.


Trading in Asia was up. Singapore's Straits Times index rose 14.94 to 1,737.66 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 428.20 to 13,814.24. The Nikkei 225 was closed for a holiday.


European markets were down. London's FTSE 100 fell 16.20 to 5,911.80, the CAC 40 in Paris fell 45.34 to 5,594.69 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was off 53.32 to 6,211.19.

Reuters contributed to this report.