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Preopen Trading: Nokia Down After Profit-Taking

Stocks set for downticks at the bell; Europe drops, Asia mixed.

In premarket action,

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

was hit by profit-taking, trading at $44.13, off 87 cents from Tuesday's closing price of $45. Yesterday, the telecom giant said it made a pact with wireless phone operator

Omnitel

to develop applications for third-generation UMTS mobile networks in Italy.

This morning, Nokia said it was awarded an expansion deal for China Unicom valued at more than $100 million.

Nextel

(NXTL)

was also trading higher at $47.25, up 25 cents from its close of $47. This morning

WR Hambrecht

rolled out coverage of the telecom stock with a buy rating and a $100 price target.

Informix

(IFMX)

was bid at $4, off $1.15 from Tuesday's close of $5.15. After the closing bell, the Web software maker warned investors that it would report third-quarter loss between 5 cents to 8 cents a share, missing the five-analyst estimate of a 2 cent profit. The company also warned that it would post break-even results in the fourth-quarter, also coming in below the five analyst estimate of a 6 cent profit.

But strong quarterly results may cook up gains in the early going for restaurant chain operator

Darden

(DRI) - Get Report

. The company posted first-quarter earnings of 46 cents a share, topping the 14-analyst estimate of 41 cents and up from the year-ago 35 cent profit.

Stocks are set for downticks at the opening bell. The

S&P 500 futures on

TST Recommends

Globex

lately were off about 1 to 1477.40, about 1 point below fair value as calculated by

Prudential Securities

. Fair value is a good gauge of how stocks will perform in the early going.

The

Nasdaq 100

futures were down 22.50 points to 3781.50, about 34 points below fair value, as calculated by

TheStreet.com

, and indicating that tech stocks are poised to open to the downside.

Europe's major indices were tentatively in the red, with France's

CAC-40

off 0.3%, Germany's

Xetra Dax

down 0.4% and the U.K.'s

FTSE 100

0.5% lower. Japan's

Nikkei 225

mounted 2.07% overnight, while Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

slipped 0.07% (see today's

Asian Markets Update for more).