MARKET PREVIEW: Wall Street eyes employment data

The release of another key economic indicator, along with a handful of tech earnings, will hold investors attention on Friday. Trading in Europe was mixed while Asian markets moved lower. Early indicators have the Dow set to open lower.


Wall Street will closely watch the release of January unemployment figures, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. EST. According to an analysts survey by Briefing.com, news jobs added in January should come in at 80,000 jobs, down from 105,000 in December. The unemployment rate is expected to rise to 4.1 percent from 4.0 percent, while average hourly earnings are predicted to rise 0.3 percent.

Dell Computer (Nasdaq: DELL) said that now expects to meet its pre-profit warning revenue target of $32 billion for the full fiscal year, ending February 2. Last month, the computer maker warned of a fourth-quarter shortfall due to sluggish demand for PCs and services.

Reporting after Thursday's close, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) provider Copper Mountain (Nasdaq: CMTN) met reduced estimates in its fourth quarter, with breakeven earnings on a per-share basis. But the company also warned that its first-quarter sales will come in well below expectations.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most "http:="" www.zdii.com="" industry_list.asp?mode="news&doc_id=ZE507432&pic=Y"" rel="">actively traded issues: Activision (Nasdaq: ATVI), Business Objects (Nasdaq: BOBJ), Buy.com (Nasdaq: BUYX), Copper Mountain (Nasdaq: CMTN), National Semiconductor (NYSE: NSM).

The Nasdaq moved up 10.06 to 2,782.79 at market close Thursday while the Dow Jones industrial average added 96.27 to 10,983.63.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to open down 13 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 futures index slipped 1.60 to 1380.90 at 7:20 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index slipped 4 to 307.07.


The major Asian markets lost ground. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 92.70 to 16,071.29, the Nikkei 225 shed 75.92 to 13,703.63 and Singapore's Straights Times fell 5.78 to 1,976.60.


European markets saw mixed trading. London's FTSE 100 was up 14.80 to 6,266.60, the CAC 40 in Paris slipped 38.98 to 5,860.74 and the DAX in Frankfurt lost 33.68 to 6,671.00 at 7:09 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.