MARKET PREVIEW: Techs search for a bottom

The beleaguered technology sector looks for relief on Tuesday, a day after the Nasdaq plunged to a 27-month low. Markets in Europe and Asia also dropped, and early indicators have the Dow set to open slightly higher.


The U.S. markets were hammered on Monday, driven by the latest bout of profit warnings and job cuts. The Nasdaq composite index dropped 6.3 percent to close at 1,923.38, 62 percent off its all-time high. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 436.37, or 4.1 percent, to 10,208.25, while the S&P 500 slipped 4.3 percent to 1180.16.

Movers Monday will include Internet service provider PSINet (Nasdaq: PSIX), which said it will sell its e-commerce data communications unit, PSINet Transaction Solutions, for $300 million in order to raise cash. The company will treat the disposal as a discontinued operation and will take a $300 million charge.

Shares of Internet incubator CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI) may see some action ahead of the release of its second-quarter financial results, due out after market close. The former tech high-flyer is expected to report a loss of $2.27 a share, up from a loss of 77 cents a share a year ago.

On the economic front, the U.S. government is set to release its retail sales data for February. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com predict a 0.3 percent rise, compared with a 0.7 percent increase in January.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Tuesday's most "http:="" www.zdii.com="" industry_list.asp?mode="news&doc_id=ZE507856&pic=Y"" rel="">actively traded issues: Engage Technologies (Nasdaq: ENGA), Hummingbird (Nasdaq: HUMC) and Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL).

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to open up 15 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 futures index inched up 1.80 to 1193.30, above fair value, at 7:21 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index slipped 13 to 181.97.


The major Asian markets fell. Both Hong Kong's Hang Seng and the Nikkei 225 posted triple-digit losses, down 283.69 to 13,493.03 and 351.67 to 11,819.70, respectively. Singapore's Straights Times closed off 51.87, or 2.8 percent, to 1,797.97.


European markets saw red as well. London's FTSE 100 lost 62.40 to 5,764.10, the CAC 40 in Paris dropped 50.14 to 5,192.26, and the DAX in Frankfurt traded off 58.49 to 5,988.07 at 7:15 a.m. EST.

ZDII staff and Reuters contributed to this roundup.