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MARKET PREVIEW: Techs look to economic news

Techs may be edgy Wednesday after Tuesday's big blue-chip decline and will be watching for hints of inflation in the Federal Reserve's beige book report. Asian markets were mixed, Europe moved down, and the Dow is set to open slightly higher.


After a warning from Procter & Gamble put the Dow into the biggest decline since the Russian currency crisis of August 1998, the broader markets may be on edge Wednesday.

Several deals may inspire techs. A dozen TV broadcasters are joining to form a wireless-distribution network to deliver video and music via PCs. IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) is expected to announce a new business-to-business initiative. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) announced early Wednesday it will team up with Cap Gemini of France for an Internet consulting venture to focus on the telecommunications industry.

On the IPO front, Online printing services firm, (Nasdaq: IPRT), priced shares at $10 each, and FirstWorld Communications (Nasdaq: FWIS), an integrated communications provider to small and mid-sized businesses, priced shares at $17 a piece

Economic news includes the Federal Reserve's Beige Book report on the state of the economy based on its 12 regional federal reserve banks. Interest-rate speculators will also be eyeing Chairman Alan Greenspan's speech to bankers Wednesday morning.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues:, Engage Technologies and Vicinity.

A jump in crude oil prices to a new nine-year high and a profit warning from Procter & Gamble sent blue-chip stocks into a tailspin Tuesday as the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 374 points to 9,796.03. The Nasdaq closed off 57 points to 4,847.81.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 38 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 5.2 points to 1357 at 7:27 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 11 to 640.95.


Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.89 percent to 19,766, Singapore's Strait Times index slipped 0.90 percent to 2,072 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.48 percent to 17,951.


European markets moving down. London's FTSE 100 dropped 0.30 percent to 6,447. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.78 percent to 6,391 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 1.08 percent to 7,978 at 6:48 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.