Preopen Trading: Futures Trading Lower as Apple Shortfall Dominates - TheStreet

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

will be the name of the tech game today, and judging from the action so far, it's a big loser. Shares of the computer maker were

pummeled in afterhours trading last night after it warned of a shortfall in its fourth-quarter earnings and sales. The stock traded recently at $29.50 on

Instinet

, down an eye-opening 24 points from yesterday's close at $53.50. This morning Apple received three downgrades, from

PaineWebber

,

Bear Stearns

and

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

.

Shares of some other big-cap techs were under pressure with

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

trading at $43.13, down from a regular trading close of $44.44. Networker

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

was trading at $58, down from yesterday's close of $59.44.

Shares of

Mattel

(MAT) - Get Report

were not having much fun after the compnay said this morning that it would sell

The Learning Company

to an affiliate of

Gores Technology Group

. Mattel said it will take a $430 million writedown for the sale. No sales price was given in the company's press release. Shares were flat at $11.62 in trading on Instinet.

The

S&P 500 futures on

Globex

lately were down 5 to 1471, about 4.29 points below fair value. The thinly traded

Nasdaq 100

futures were down a heavy 39.5 to 3718.5, about 60.57 points below fair value and indicating a rough opening for big-cap techs.

Europe's major indices were tentatively higher, with France's

CAC 40

up 0.3%, Germany's

Xetra Dax

up 0.1% and the U.K.'s

FTSE 100

up 0.4%. Japan's

Nikkei 225

gained 0.8% overnight, while Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

rose 1.0.2% (see today's

Asian Markets Update for more).

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