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MARKET PREVIEW: Techs to mull mergers, earnings

Expect tech trading to be choppy on Tuesday as investors digest a glut of earnings and merger news. Asia and Europe mirrored the U.S. market slouch, and the Dow is set to open lower.


Techs may regain some of Monday's losses as the earnings pour in. All eyes will be focused on second-quarter reports from bellwether semiconductor maker Intel Corp. (INTC). First Call's estimates expect earnings to be 53 cents per share, up from 33 cents a year ago.

First book behemoth, then music megastore, (Nasdaq: AMZN) is positioning itself to become the next toy and consumer electronics giant. Amazon, which announced late Monday plans to expand its online retail business, may steal the spotlight from eToys (Nasdaq: ETYS) and Toys 'R' Us (NYSE: TOY), which just announced renewed e-tailing efforts.

Mergers announced by online music store CDNow (Nasdaq: CDNW), which plans to meld with Columbia House, a direct marketer of music and videos, and Internet advertiser DoubleClick (Nasdaq: DCLK) which plans to hook up with NetGravity (Nasdaq: NETG), will also give the markets something to move on.

In other market news, Wall Street will be mulling over the management future for Merrill Lynch & Co.. Herbert Allison surprised the nation's largest brokerage firm late Monday by resigning as president and chief operating officer. Merrill is also expected to report second-quarter earnings Tuesday.

Expect these stocks to be among the many most active issues Tuesday: (Nasdaq: AMZN), Avant! Corp. (Nasdaq: AVNT), Catalyst International Inc. (Nasdaq: CLYS), Citrix Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CTXS), DoubleClick Inc. (Nasdaq: DCLK), Inc.'s (proposed ticker: CHINA), Rogers Communications Inc. (NYSE: RG), and Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: VTSS).

Investors chipped away at Internet stocks Monday, sending some of the past week's biggest gainers into a bit of a tailspin. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 7 points to 11,200.98 while the Nasdaq trimmed 2 points to close at 2,790.67.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is set to open about 52 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 6.5 points to 1402 at 7:25 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 8.55 to 319.


Trading in Asia was down. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.51 percent to 18,181. Singapore's Strait Times index sunk 0.92 percent to 2,178 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.58 percent to 13,980.


European markets were also moving into the red. London's FTSE 100 dropped 0.85 percent to 6,489. The CAC 40 in Paris lost 0.95 percent to 4,618 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt down 1.06 percent to 5,591 at 7:15 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.