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Tech Industry

MARKET PREVIEW: Microsoft weighs on techs

Wall Street could be poised for a sell-off Friday as mighty Microsoft joined the chorus of techs warning for the upcoming quarter. Asia dropped, those in Europe were mixed, and the Dow is set to open lower.

U.S.

For the first time in its history, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) warned Thursday that it would miss sales and earnings estimates for its second-quarter, due to slowing spending on technology by consumers and businesses. The software giant is the latest in a string of tech companies to warn in recent weeks.

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL), for its part, topped analysts' estimates for its second quarter Thursday. The world's second largest software maker attributed the performance to strong sales of its database and Internet application software.

The markets will be also be paying attention to the Consumer Price Index number, one of the most closely watched inflation gauges. The Labor Department will release the CPI before the bell Friday.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Friday's most actively traded issues: Agency.com (Nasdaq: ACOM), CMGI (Nasdaq: CMGI), Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL).

The Nasdaq continued to slide Thursday, down 94.26 to 2,728.51. The Dow Jones industrial average posted a triple-digit loss, down 119.45 to 10,674.99.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to open down 35.5 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 futures index fell 4.5 to 1353.50, below fair value, at 7:23 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index dropped 15 to 343.01.

Asia

The major Asian markets all lost ground. The Nikkei 225 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng both plummeted. The former dropped 374.90 to 14,552.29 while the Hang Seng shed over 3 percent, falling 521.46 to 14,975.53. Singapore's Strait Times slipped 32.36 to 1,948.18.

Europe

European markets were mixed. London's FTSE 100 rose 5.20 to 6,269.00, the CAC 40 in Paris shed 53.64 to 5,852.01 and the DAX in Frankfurt was off 151.41 to 6,318.54 at 7:14 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.