MARKET PREVIEW: Wall Street awaits Fed

2 min read
Investors will be watching Alan Greenspan's briefcase as the Fed meets Wednesday. Asian and European markets were mixed, and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.


The meeting of Federal Reserve policy makers will be the big story on Wall Street today, determining whether yesterday's rally will continue. The Fed is widely expected to leave interest rates alone as signs continue to point to a slowing economy. Watch for the Fed's bias for indicators about future moves.

Network Appliances (Nasdaq: NTAP) beat analyst estimates for the second quarter, reporting after the bell Tuesday. The company earned $36.6 million, or 10 cents a share, on sales of $260.8 million. But a forecast for slower sales had the company down in pre-session action Wednesday.

Fiber optic equipment vendor Sycamore (Nasdaq: SCMR) yesterday reported fiscal first quarter earnings of 2 cents a share on sales topping $120 million. First Call Corp. consensus expected it to earn a penny a share in the quarter.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Analog Devices (NYSE: ADI), BEA Systems (Nasdaq: BEAS), Sycamore Networks (Nasdaq: SCMR).

Tech stocks gained back some lost ground Tuesday as the Nasdaq composite added 171.55 to close at 3,138.27. The Dow Jones industrial average ended the session up 163.81 to 10,681.06.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to open down 16 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for November futures contracts was off 2.1 to 1392.40 at 8:00 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was up 25 to 404.36.


Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 gained 139.10 to 14,799.14, Singapore's Strait Times index shed 22.87 to 1957.68 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 50.12 to 15,127.40.


European markets were uncertain as well. London's FTSE 100 gained 23.90 to 6436.80 and the CAC 40 in Paris was up 57.25 to 6283.23. The DAX in Frankfurt, however, was down 18.75 to 6947.90 at 7:00 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.