THE DAY AHEAD: Market Preview

2 min read

Look for techs to close the week with a whimper. Watch for a bit of volatility - it's a double witching day. Asia gained and Europe was mixed. The Dow is set to open essentially unchanged.


There's not much news out there to get excited about for Friday. No major IPOs expected and no big tech earnings to move the whole sector.

To add some zest to an otherwise bland Friday, it's a double witching day: options and futures of the same security expire today. This tends to lead to greater volatility as traders move to exercise them before they expire and others look for an opportunity to make a quick buck from the chaos, called arbitrage.

ADC Telecom, Ciena, Hauppage Digital, NeoMagic, Portal Software, Solectron and Wind River will be among Friday's stocks to watch.

There are two initial offerings expected today: Fashionmall.com (proposed ticker: FASH) and @Plan Inc. (proposed ticker:APLN). @Plan may be the hotter of the two, having the "at" symbol and providing support software for Internet advertisers.

@Plan priced its 2.5 million shares at $14 a share last night.

On Thursday, it was a languid trading day was interrupted by a late selling binge Thursday as Internet stocks absorbed heavy losses. The Nasdaq closed off 35 points to 2,542.42 while the Dow shed 21 points to end at 10,866.74.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index slipped 9 to 317 on Thursday.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is set to open flat. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts rose 1.3 points to 1,343.8 at 7:45 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading, are indicating a 10-point rise in the global bellwether.


Asia made modest gains, excluding Hong Kong. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 0.57 percent to 16,292, the Seoul composite in South Korea gained 0.27 percent to 710, Singapore's Strait Times index added 1.37 percent to 1,953 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.83 percent to 12,272.


European markets slipped in morning trade. London's FTSE 100 edged up 0.27 percent to 6,385, the CAC 40 in Paris dipped 0.52 percent to 4,398 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt declined 0.14 percent to 5,236 at 8:01 a.m. EST.