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Looks like markets may be seeing a rash of red at the open this morning.

At 7:43 a.m. EDT, the

S&P 500 futures

were down 10.2 points, more than 8 points below fair value, and indicating a solidly negative open. The

Nasdaq 100

futures were down 100 points, indicating some heavy selling in large-cap technology stocks in the early going.

Investors may give the


a further boost at the start of the week, as they continue to look for solid old-school value versus growth. The index is back in the running after regaining most of its April 14 losses. But, most feel there is more choppiness to come. The risk of inflation and the possibility that


could continue tightening his grip on the economy continues to loom over a jittery market.

Tech could certainly be in for some rough-and-tumble at the open today as


(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report

is playing bad news bear again.

Despite well-behaved March earnings released last week, Microsoft executives said in an after-hours conference call Thursday that things weren't looking so hot for the company's June quarter and fiscal 2001 earnings. Then this morning, more antitrust trouble erupted, with

TheStreet Recommends

The Wall Street Journal

reporting that the government could force a breakup of Bill's empire, demanding that the tech giant sell its software business or splitting the company into three separate units.

The news certainly can't help sentiment among weak-kneed tech investors. Over the past month, a flutter of bad Microsoft news has knocked the Nasdaq off its feet several times.

The computer bellwether could face the blows alone, however, if the market decides to see these things as Microsoft-specific issues, and ones which could fortify its competitors. In that case, Microsoft stock could be ditched in favor of other techs like


(ORCL) - Get Oracle Corporation Report



(INTC) - Get Intel Corporation Report


In any case, investors will be watching what Wall Street talking heads have to say about Microsoft this morning. Will influential analysts change their buy ratings on the company or won't they?

Wall Streeters will also continue to watch earnings. Will this week be as good as the last?


earnings slate includes

American Express

(AXP) - Get American Express Company Report



(MRK) - Get Merck & Co., Inc. Report

, among others.

The bond market was edging up quietly, with the 10-year note up 3/32 to 103 24/32 and yielding 5.987%. Meanwhile, no major data are in the pipeline today.

Europe is on holiday today, but the euro was lately trading at $0.9413.

Asian markets were mixed today.

In Tokyo, selected blue chips and technology shares rebounded after a big tumble last week, taking the


up 227.47 to 18480.15.

The greenback inched slightly higher against the yen to around 105.66. It was lately sitting at about 105.53 yen.



index fell 312.39, or 3.4%, to 8808.09, as sentiment for technology shares deteriorated amid thin volume.

The Hong Kong market continues closed today, after taking a break on Friday for Easter Holiday. The market will reopen Tuesday

For a look at stocks in the preopen news, see Stocks to Watch, published separately.