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THE DAY AHEAD: Market Preview

Look for another merger Monday to keep technology stocks in positive territory as interest rate fears ease -- at least for a day. Asia and Europe slumped, but the Dow is set to open higher.

U.S.

With no major economic data on deck, mergers occupy all the headlines. The most notable of the bunch is Qwest Communications International Inc.'s (Nasdaq: QWST) $55 billion snub of Global Crossing Ltd. (Nasdaq: GBLX). May the bidding wars begin.

Qwest showed its fangs by offering to buy both US West (NYSE: USW) and Frontier (NYSE: FRO), two companies that agreed to merge with Global Crossing.

In the Internet world, DoubleClick Inc. (Nasdaq: DCLK) will buy Abacus Direct Corp. (Nasdaq: ABDR) for $1 billion in stock. Add in other stocks to watch such as eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) and things should be interesting.

On Friday, Internet stocks wilted as the broader markets were hampered by inflation fears.

The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 37 points to 2,448 and the Dow fell 131 points to 10,489. The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index lost 9 points.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is set to open about 35 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 4.4 points to 1313.70 at 7:43 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

Asia

The Nikkei 225 slipped 0.06 percent at 17,188.82, Singapore's Strait Times index fell 0.43 percent to 2,058 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.11 percent to 13007.57.

Europe

In Europe, all the talk was about Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT). Yes, Wal-Mart. The U.S. retailer bought U.K.'s ASDA Group and sent retailing issues lower.

London's FTSE 100 lost 0.70 percent to 6,439, the CAC 40 in Paris fell 0.56 percent to 4,361 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt dipped 0.39 percent to 5,275 at 7:36 a.m. EST.