Preopen Trading: Stocks Look a Bit Weaker After Tuesday's Wild Run Up

Futures were lower, but have bounced a bit since earlier this morning.
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Stocks look to open modestly weaker this morning as futures are pointing a bit lower.

After yesterday's wild run-up -- the

Nasdaq

posted its biggest one-day percentage gain and the

Dow

jumped by over 200 -- the early talk this morning was for some modest profit-taking.

While there are several economic numbers slated for release this morning, market watchers are looking more toward tomorrow and Friday for an indication of the

Fed's next move. For a full list of releases, take a look at

TSC's

Economic Databank.

In early action, futures were lower this morning, but have come off their lows. The

S&P 500 June contract was down 3.1, about 2.5 points below fair value. The

Nasdaq 100

contract was off 37, suggesting some tech weakness at the open.

Yesterday was definitely tech's big day. But in preopening action, several of the names that ran up the most on Tuesday, were struggling.

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

, which gained over 10 yesterday, was off 3 1/4 to 73 1/8, according to

Instinet

.

Dell

(DELL) - Get Report

was off 1/8 to 43 3/4 and

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

was sagging 1/4 to 125 1/2.

In overseas action, European trading was mixed despite an up day for the so-called TMT (technology, media and telecom) stocks. For more on the fun and games in Europe, take a look at

TSC's

European Midday Update.

Yesterday's After-Hours Trading

By Angela Privin
Staff Reporter

The Internet brain gain is on.

Even in this weight-obsessed country, a Web site called

Fatbrain.com

(FATB)

is finding fans. The company announced after hours that it is likely to post higher-than-expected first-quarter revenue of $13.5 million to $14 million.

Strong demand for business-to-business products drove the company's vigorous growth. Investors ate up the news, and fatty gained weight. It was lately up 1 7/32 to 6 21/32 on 180,000 Island shares.

Companies such as

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

,

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

and

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

use Fatbrain.com to give employees access to a company-specific online bookstore.

Ford

(F) - Get Report

signed on today to launch a Fatbrain-sponsored online bookstore.

Cookies aside, pursuit of Chinese fortunes drove tech companies in enigmatic directions. Business-to-business e-tailer

Adatom.com

(ADTM)

suffered today after it announced a joint venture with

China Federation of Industrial Economics

. CFIE is a national organization that oversees and coordinates all Chinese trade associations, and is expecting to enlist 50,000 members for Adatom in its first year and 100,000 the following year.

China Telecom

(CHL) - Get Report

and

China Broadcasting

will also participate. This is the fourth Chinese joint venture for Adatom.com, which will help CFIE develop a bilingual, electronic marketplace and distribution system between China and the U.S.

Strangely, shares of the Internet company fell 3/32 to 1 7/8 on the news, recovered briefly in late composite trading and then sank again, dropping 1/16 to 2 1/16 on 285,000 Island shares.

Meanwhile,

Qualcomm

(QCOM) - Get Report

stumbled after

China Unicom

said that it would not adopt current-generation Qualcomm digital wireless technology.

But the ripple of bad news shook investor confidence only briefly. Analysts stepped in to defend the wireless darling, saying that despite this setback, the Chinese will begin to use Qualcomm-based CDMA wireless cellular technology.

After dropping midday, a recovery, perhaps aided by today's technology buying spree, helped Super Q finish with a healthy green glow. Bingeing traders sobered after hours and began to take profits. Qualcomm slipped 5/64 to 76 5/32 on 69,000 Island shares.

Thomas Weisel Partners

upgraded

Spectra Diode Laboratories

(SDLI)

and it surged 12% after the company said that telecommunications networking giant

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

extended its contract for parts through 2001. The growing demand for JDS Uniphase networks has doubled the need for SDL components used to build them. SDL's products power the transmission of data, voice and Internet information over fiber-optic networks.

Sometimes they're competitors, but a renewal of vows for this technology marriage meant day-session gains for both companies. At night, the wedding gifts went to JDS Uniphase, which rose 1 3/8 to 92 5/8 on 47,000 Island shares and 1 9/16 to 92 15/16 on 113,000 Instinet shares, while SDL fell 13/16 to 221 on 15,000 Island shares.

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Report

, a maker of semiconductor equipment, introduced a new product today and closed up 14.3%.

The company's new semiconductor product, the Sprint Tungsten CVD Centura, has features that lower the cost of system operation, including technology that generates no global-warming gases.

Light profit-taking took the California tech firm 1 3/64 lower to 83 57/64 on 48,000 Instinet shares.

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.