MARKET PREVIEW: Techs start Fed countdown

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Techs will be watching for economic indicators Thursday, as data on the GDP and jobless claims are likely to garner attention as the next Fed meeting approaches. Asia was mixed as the yen rose again, Europe was down, and the Dow was set to open slightly higher.


Traders may be getting edgy ahead of Tuesday's Federal Reserve meeting on interest rate policy. A slumping dollar, which dropped 1.66 yen to 105.38 and was lower at $1.0683 against the euro won't help things either.

On the economic front, the final reading of second-quarter GDP will be released. Economists predict the rate of growth will hold at 1.8 percent, the same rate recorded in the revised report last month. The GDP price deflator, a sign of inflationary pressures, is also expected to remain even with last month's 1.5 percent. Weekly jobless claims will also be released.

Among IPOs set to debut, Radware (Nasdaq: RDWR) priced 3.5 million shares at $18. The Israeli based company provides traffic management equipment and software for LAN/WANs.

Expect the following stocks to be the most actively, traded Thursday: CompUSA Inc. (Nasdaq: CPU), eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY), Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR), Flycast Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: FCST), and S3 Inc. (Nasdaq: SIII).

Mild strength in the Internet sector couldn't stop the overall technology market from losing ground Wednesday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 25.99 to 2,730.26, the S&P 500 fell 13.83 to 1,268.37, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 62.05 to 10,213.48. Inter@ctive Week's @100 Index rose 98.56 to 4,934.11, while the @Net Index accrued 1 to 323.46.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 31 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 3.9 points to 1284 at 7:40 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 1 to 232.46.


Trading in Asia was mixed, as the yen softened, but then picked up again. The Nikkei 225 rose 1.87 percent to 17,605, Singapore's Strait Times index gained 0.22 percent to 2,022 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.79 percent to 12,733.


European markets were moving down. London's FTSE 100 sank 0.61 percent to 9,584. The CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.07 percent to 4,532 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was up 0.68 percent to 5,100 at 6:44 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.