Today the market tries to see if it can put together a move that holds up through the afternoon.

It'll be a tough thing to do. Yesterday's fizzled rally only reinforced the notion that strength is for selling into this August, an opportunity to raise cash and lighten your load.

Yet the news of the day -- that

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

is considering buying

Excite@Home

(ATHM) - Get Report

, according to

Business Week Online

-- may give stocks the momentum they need to carry what looks like a good move up in the morning into the close.

"I expect they'll do a little bit better trying to keep the gains today," said Bill Meehan, market analyst at

Cantor Fitzgerald

.

But even with the potential dot-com deal, Meehan does not see much conviction in the stock market now. "I think it's going to be choppy until we get the employment data" Friday, he said, "with the risk to the downside."

At 9 a.m. EDT, the

S&P 500

futures were up 6.5, about 8 above fair value and indicating a hop at the open.

The 30-year Treasury was down 14/32 to 87 29/32, putting the yield at 6.14%.

The dollar caught a bid against the yen after

Japanese Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa

said the drop in the greenback had been too rapid and that a dollar trading below 114 yen would be unfavorable. Later, the

Ministry of Finance

indicated that Miyazawa had talked with

Treasury

Secretary

Larry Summers

and that the conversation had included discussion of the foreign-exchange market.

With the market caught short, the dollar turned around quickly. Lately it was trading up 1 yen at 115.23.

The turn in the dollar reversed losses in Tokyo stocks. Led by global blue-chips, which book a lot of dollar profits, the

Nikkei

climbed 144.23 to 17,969.93.

Hong Kong stocks edged higher in a bit of carryover from the big, pre-earnings move in

HSBC

(HSBHY)

yesterday. The

Hang Seng

tacked on 38.41 to 13,438.99.

It's thin trading in Europe, where portfolio managers not taking August vacations are market shy ahead of the Aug. 24

Federal Open Market Committee

.

Frankfurt's

Xetra Dax

was off 3.71 to 5125.79.

DaimlerChrysler

(DCX)

halted its slide on reports that it is considering bidding for Italy's

Alenia

with

British Aerospace

.

In Paris, the

CAC

was down 11.06 to 4366.81.

London's

FTSE

was off 9.1 to 6279.2. A selloff in the gilt market was weighing on things there. New data there suggested house prices in some areas of Britain are increasing at unsustainable there. That raised worries that the

Bank of England

will begin to raise rates soon, with the market giving putting outside chances on a BOE hike when it concludes its monthly meeting on Thursday.

Tuesday's Wake-Up Watchlist

By

Brian Louis

Staff Reporter

Excite@Home and Yahoo! have held talks over the last six weeks about a possible deal where Yahoo! would buy Excite@Home for some amount greater than its market value of $17 billion,

Business Week Online

reported, citing sources close to the companies. The article also reported that Yahoo! does not want to operate an infrastructure company like @Home, so exactly what would happen with @Home is still up in the air.

British American Tobacco

(BTI) - Get Report

has agreed to buy the 58% of

Imasco

that it does not already own for roughly $6.8 billion.

Earnings/revenue reports and previews

(Earnings estimates are from

First Call

.)

Aon

(AOC)

posted second-quarter earnings of 57 cents a share, a penny shy of the 10-anlayst estimate of 58 cents and up from the year-ago 54 cents.

Equitable

(EQ) - Get Report

posted second-quarter after-tax operating earnings of $1.22 a share, ahead of the nine-analyst estimate of $1.14 and up from the year-ago operating earnings of 98 cents.

Global Crossing

(GBLX)

posted a second-quarter loss of a penny a share.

HealthSouth

(HRC) - Get Report

posted second-quarter earnings of 27 cents a share, in line with the 11-analyst estimate but down from the year-ago 28 cents.

Liberty

(LC) - Get Report

posted second-quarter operating earnings of 68 cents, ahead of the one-analyst estimate of 65 cents but down from the year-ago operating earnings of 76 cents.

Mylan Laboratories

(MYL) - Get Report

reported first-quarter earnings of 25 cents a share, a penny shy of the eight-analyst estimate and down from the year-ago 28 cents.

Offerings and stock actions

Goldman Sachs

last night priced 6 million shares of

1-800-Flowers.com

(FLWS:Nasdaq) at $21 a share, above the expected range of $16 to $18.

Elsewhere, yesterday

Hambrecht & Quist

priced 5 million shares of

Quotesmith.com

(QUOT:Nasdaq), an Internet-based insurance service in Darien, Ill., top-range at $11 a share.

Analyst actions

Merrill Lynch

downgraded

Cigna

(CI) - Get Report

to near-term accumulate from near-term buy.

Miscellany

St. Paul Cos.

(SPC)

announced a cost-cutting plan under which the company expects to eliminate 1,000 jobs.