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Preopen Trading: Bad News for Equipment and Networking Stocks

BellSouth gets knocked down after saying it plans to cut back on spending and expansion.



was getting knocked down in preopen trading after saying Thursday it plans to cut back on equipment spending and expansion. The company, which controls local phone service for nine Southern states, was dropping $4.25 to $45, an 8.6% drop, according to electronic trading network



The news is expected to be

lousy for equipment and networking stocks like





(CSCO) - Get Cisco Systems Inc. Report

, although both of those stocks were fractionally higher on Instinet.

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And the tone on Wall Street was generally OK this morning, with

S&P 500 futures up 1.9 points, about 3 points above fair value, an indication of a slightly higher open. The

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Nasdaq 100

futures were also higher, up 21 points, 20 points above fair value.

European indices were lower, following Thursday's decline in U.S. markets. Chip stocks declined on further concerns of weakness in telecommunications spending on capital equipment and rising inventories. France's


was down 50.16 to 6232.90.



was falling on expectations that the company will announce a loss in its U.S. operations in the fourth quarter, and that was hurting Frankfurt's

Xetra Dax

, lately down 78.76 to 6763.35, a 1.2% loss. In London, the

FTSE 100

was down 12.8 to 6417.60.

Asia's markets also dropped sharply. Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

lost 117.50 to 15180.85, and Tokyo's

Nikkei 225

dropped 42.73 to 14544.30.

For Thursday's postclose trading, see The Night Watch.