Earnings will continue to coax techs out of their Fed-watching funk Monday, as the markets recover from Alan Greenspan's testimony last week. Asia and Europe were down, and the Dow is set to open lower.
Even with good earnings reports and upgrades, techs slumped last week as investors mulled over the possibility of another interest rate hike. As Greenspan's Humphrey-Hawkins speech fades in the distance, real news should revive the market's mood.
In another battle over open-technology, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) is posing as the underdog. The software giant, along with Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO) and Prodigy Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: PRGY) just introduced software that attempts to edge in on America Online Inc.'s hold on the market for instant messaging. AOL has responded by blocking access to its network, though Microsoft has succeeded in breaking in to it again, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Among other development strategies that may move stocks is IBM Corp.'s (NYSE: IBM), introduced a high-end system for data storage. The computer maker is returning to a market it abandoned three years ago in the face of competition from EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), The Wall Street Journal reported.
NTL Inc. (Nasdaq: NTLI) may also be on the move after France Telecom said Monday that has signed an agreement to acquire the U.K. consumer division cable assets of Cable & Wireless Communications for 2.85 billion pounds and announced it will invest $5.5 billion in NTL, including the initial $1 billion investment announced July 15.
Expect the following technology stocks to be among Monday's most actively traded issues: eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY), GST Telecommunications Inc. (Nasdaq: GSTX), Quantum Corp. (Nasdaq: QNTM), and Remedy Corp. (Nasdaq: RMDY).
Technology stocks managed to scratch out a slight gain Friday but the Dow fell 58 points to close at 10,910.96. The Nasdaq composite closed up 8 points to 2,692.41.
At the Bell
The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 52 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 6.5 points to 1356 at 7:25 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.
The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 2.24 to 295.06.
Trading in Asia was on a downswing. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.25 percent to 17,491, Singapore's Strait Times index lost 2.52 percent to 1,939 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.74 percent to 12,866.
European markets were also looking down. London's FTSE 100 fell 1.54 percent to 6,111. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 1.03 percent to 4,394 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 1.93 percent to 5,208 at 6:50 a.m. EST.
Reuters contributed to this report.