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THE DAY AHEAD: Market Preview

With the Fed's position on interest rates now official, watch stocks warily climb. Asia and Europe were mixed. The Dow is set to slap the snooze bar a few times before adding to Tuesday's mild recovery.


So the Fed left rates alone, but now is leaning towards raising rates down the road. Wall Street saw this coming days earlier and much of the selling was wrapped up long before yesterday. Watch for the mild recovery that began late Tuesday to push through the rest of the week.

Where does that leave the market now that the Fed has a "bias" towards raising rates? In neutral territory. Corporate earnings haven't been that robust, the economy is giving mixed signals whether or not it's approaching inflation. Then there's Asia and Europe, which haven't been paragons of economic growth.

Keep an eye on economic reports and watch for what the larger technology companies are saying about growth in the near-term. That should paint a fair picture as how stocks should fare for the remainder of the year.

Applied Materials, BEA Systems, Books-A-Million, CMGi, Creative Computers, Dell, eBay, Lycos, Network Appliance and PairGain are among Wednesday's stocks to watch.

On Tuesday, The Dow Jones industrial average dipped a mere 16 points to 10,836.95 as Wall Street barely blinked when the Federal Reserve Board said it would leave interest rates unchanged for now but adopted a tightening bias going forward. The Nasdaq closed off 3 points to 2,558.35.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index dropped 4 to 323 on Tuesday.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is set to open slightly higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts 3.1 points to 1,344.3 at 7:34 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading, are indicating a less than a single-point gain in the global bellwether.


Asia slipped, excluding Korea, following the U.S. markets close. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo dropped 1.53 percent to 16,128, the Seoul composite in South Korea gained 0.78 percent to 734, Singapore's Strait Times index dipped 0.33 percent to 1,911 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 1.77 percent to 12,403.


European markets were mixed. London's FTSE 100 slipped 0.09 percent to 6,200, the CAC 40 in Paris advanced half a percentage point to 4,338 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt gained 0.28 percent to 5,174 at 7:58 a.m. EST.