Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: IPOs are back!

A batch of fresh IPOs, earnings news, and some antitrust concerns will move techs Thursday. Asian markets were down, European was mixed, and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.

U.S.

MCI WorldCom Inc's (Nasdaq: WCOM) proposed purchase of Sprint Corp (NYSE: FON) is the latest deal to see antitrust scrutiny. Justice Department officials, nearing the end of a review of the merger, are moving closer to deciding that the deal would be too much of a blow to competition, the Washington Post reported Thursday. European authorities have tentatively concluded the deal would concentrate too much of the world's Internet backbone within a single company, while reducing from three to two choices for global communications services.

Microsoft Corp.'s (Nasdaq: MSFT) ongoing saga has taken another turn. Federal antitrust regulators, along with 19 states, defended their break-up plans for the company late Wednesday. They said Microsoft's proposal is insufficient, offering mere cosmetic changes.

After a long silence on the IPO front, three new issues priced for debut Thursday. New Focus (Nasdaq: NUFO) priced above its upwardly revised range at $20, Nogatech (Nasdaq: NGTC) priced at $12, the low end of its $12-16 range and iBeam (Nasdaq: IBEM) priced shares at $10, the mid-point of its revised $9 to $11 range.

ADC Telecommunications (Nasdaq: ADCT), Autodesk (Nasdaq: ADSK), Ciena Corporation (Nasdaq: CIEN), GlobalNetFinancial.com (Nasdaq: GLBN), Network Appliance Corp. (Nasdaq: NTAP), Portal Software Inc. (Nasdaq: PRSF) and Sycamore Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: SCMR) are some of the techs slated to report Tuesday.

Earnings-related news just might move shares. Expect Logility, CacheFlow, Legato, Lycos and Photronics to be among the day's most active issues.

Technology stocks retreated Wednesday as shareholders took profits. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index fell 72.66 to 3,644.91. The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 164.83 to 10,769.74.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open about 28 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was down 3.8 to 1452 at 7:31 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index was down 12 to 478.79.

Asia

Trading in Asia was on a downswing. The Nikkei 225 fell 2.14 to 17,031, Singapore's Strait Times index fell 2.08 percent to 2,011 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 3.41 percent to 14,322.

Europe

European markets were mixed. London's FTSE 100 climbed 0.09 percent to 6,201. The CAC 40 in Paris slipped 0.12 percent to 6,445 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.16 percent to 7,199 at 7:05 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.