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
, although both of those stocks were fractionally higher on Instinet.
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
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
, lately down 78.76 to 6763.35, a 1.2% loss. In London, the
was down 12.8 to 6417.60.
Asia's markets also dropped sharply. Hong Kong's
lost 117.50 to 15180.85, and Tokyo's
dropped 42.73 to 14544.30.
For Thursday's postclose trading, see The Night Watch.