Preopen Trading: Futures Pointing Market Higher Ahead of Retail Sales

This week's dose of economic data starts this morning.
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Futures were pointing higher this morning, as the market braces for its first dose of economic data this week, when May retail sales is released at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

At 7:30 a.m. EDT, the

S&P 500 September futures contract was up 4.8, about 4 points above fair value. The

Nasdaq 100

September contract was up 22.5, suggesting a strong open for tech names.

Yesterday, the stock market suffered under the weight of very thin volume and a few negative earnings warnings. Both the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

and the

Nasdaq Composite

ended lower for the day. But this morning it's all going to be about retail sales. A poll of economists conducted by

Reuters

expects the indicator to be unchanged in May, after falling 0.2% in April.

Tomorrow, the May

Consumer Price Index will be released -- a report many expect to be the most telling economic indicator of the week. As far as "telling" goes, though, market participants will also keep an ear out this afternoon when

Federal Reserve Chairman

Alan Greenspan addresses the New York Association for Business Economics on the topic of "Business data analysis."

Now, we think that sounds like a real fun topic. But, who knows, there might be something in there about the future of interest rates. For a list of all this week's economic releases, take a look at

TSC's

handy-dandy

Economic Databank.

Monday's After-Hours Trading

By Angela Privin
Staff Reporter

NBC Internet

(NBCI)

, the Web arm of the

NBC

television network, warned after hours of lower than expected sales and earnings due to slow advertising sales and also announced a restructuring.

NBC Internet's revamped

NBCi.com

will gather sites such as

Snap.com

,

Xoom.com

and

VideoSeeker

under a single banner and debut in the fall.

The cost of the restructuring, recent acquisitions and a tough market for dot-com advertising revenue will lead to lower-than-expected revenues and earnings for the second quarter and the remainder of 2000, the company said in a statement.

Wall Street previously saw a loss of 70 cents a share in the second quarter.

With the promotional help of its parent television company, $700 million in cash and plans to tighten its cost structure, the Internet company expects to be profitable by 2002.

NBC Internet finished the day down 1 13/16, or about 7%, but dropped 7 3/8, or about 30%, to 17 3/8 on 20,000

Island

shares.

Silly traders,

Citrix

(CTXS) - Get Report

are for kids!

As

reported earlier, Citrix Systems was one of today's big drags on the

Nasdaq after the company said its second-quarter earnings will miss consensus estimates. The daytime avalanche of selling left the company 46% lower. The stock had already lost 30% of its value since Wednesday before getting walloped today.

Citrix adapts

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

software for use on computer networks. Thus the company's fate is tied to that of the beleaguered software king. After last Wednesday's decision to split Softee in two, some on Wall Street feared a separate Windows operating-system company would be formidable competition for Citrix, and that also helped to knock the stock lower. Analysts told

Reuters

Citrix would have little new to worry about if Microsoft eventually were broken up, but that did little to staunch the bleeding.

Tonight Citrix was taking a breather from the beatings, lately up 1/4 to 22 7/16 on 175,000 Island shares and edging 3/16 higher on

Instinet

.

MicroStrategy

(MSTR) - Get Report

was the other Nasdaq bummer. The customer-management software developer dropped 23 5/16, or 37%, today, after

Merrill Lynch

analyst Christopher Shilakes said last week's run-up was unwarranted, reported

Reuters

. Investors first took pause, then took profits.

Last Friday the company popped more than 40% during the day on rumors it had secured a $100 million cash infusion through a private placement deal. The company's stock fell sharply earlier this year after changing the way it reports revenue to conform to

Securities and Exchange Commission

guidelines. The company doubled in price last week, finishing up 39 5/8 to 62 1/4. The sharp recovery prompted today's sobering analyst statements and the company continued to correct 23/64 to 38 9/16 at night. It was down 37/64 on Instinet.

Lightspan

(LSPN)

hit a 52-week low of 6 1/4, last Friday. Today it was one of the biggest percentage losers on Nasdaq, settling 1 1/8 lower after hitting an intraday low of 4 7/8 at 2:40 p.m. EDT.

Tonight it initially edged lower, then recovered to unchanged at 5 1/8 on 68,000 Island shares, trading close to its $4 book value. There was little news to spur the fall. The company dropped sharply in mid-April and traded around 8 until it again started sliding on June 7. Some traders suggested on

Yahoo! Finance

message boards that the company had fallen into the common Nasdaq pattern of momentum selling.

The California-based company makes curriculum-based educational software and Internet products for home and school use and today announced the election of four new board members. On June 1, the company acquired LearningPlanet.com to strengthen its online content for students.

China Unicom

said Friday it will use

Qualcomm's

(QCOM) - Get Report

third-generation CDMA technology after all. Earlier this month, China Unicom said it was dropping plans to use Qualcomm's current-generation CDMA, spurring a steep drop in stock price. Qualcomm ended the session 3% higher today, saw initial light profit-taking at night and then resumed its path higher. It was lately up 19/64 to 82 on 45,000 Island shares.

Engage

(ENGA)

helps customers create profiles of individual Web visitors to target advertisements, content and e-commerce strategy. It dropped 1 9/16, or 8%, today on its

acquisition of

MediaBridge

. It recovered 11/16 to 17 5/8 after hours.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals

(LGND) - Get Report

announced tonight that the

Food and Drug Administration

approved Targretin, the company's new drug for lesion treatment of early-stage T-cell lymphoma. Final FDA marketing approval for the gel is pending. If approved it will be the company's third product for T-cell lymphoma and the first topical treatment. The drug company rose 2 1/8 to 13 7/8 on 17,000 Island shares.

Note: Due to technical requirements associated with

TheStreet.com's

upcoming relaunch, this will be the final after-hours trading update this evening.

This information is provided by Instinet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reuters (RTRSY) . For further information, please contact Instinet at www.instinet.com.

Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT.

Confused?

TheStreet.com

explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.