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U.S. stocks seen lower as IBM falls, GE in focus

Startbeitrag von swiss2005 am 19.01.2007 11:11

U.S. stocks seen lower as IBM falls, GE in focus

FRANKFURT, Jan 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks looked set to open lower on Friday as technology shares weighed on indexes and after IBM IBM.N shares slipped in after-hours trading, while investors awaited results from heavyweights like General Electric

"The market will focus on earnings today and the first benchmark has been set by IBM," said Roland Hirschmueller, trader in U.S. shares at German Baader brokerage in Stuttgart.

Before U.S. markets open, investors expect results from General Electric and Citigroup while also looking out for Motorola .

In focus as well will be Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell after shares in IBM , the world's largest technology services company, fell 5.6 percent as the company posted quarterly results that did not top estimates by as much as investors hoped.

German chipmaker Infineon led declines in European technology shares, falling 3.3 percent. The sector came under pressure earlier following disappointing forecasts from Apple and semiconductor equipment maker Lam Research

The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 0.07 percent on Thursday, to end at 12,567.93. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index declined 0.30 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 1.46 percent, to finish at 2,443.21.

"Most of the results up until now beat market expectations, but disappointed with their outlooks, which dragged down the share price," Hirschmueller said, adding that most companies' outlooks were affected by the overall uncertainty, which markets did not like at all.

"The disappointments suggest that the companies' forecasts for the next quarter won't be as good as the market had expected," Hirschmueller said.

On the macroeconomic front, major U.S. economic indicators on tap include a preliminary reading of the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers index for January at 1500 GMT and the ECRI Weekly Index at 1530 GMT.

Oil stayed weak, just above $50 a barrel after sliding below that level a day earlier to a 20-month low due to a sharp increase in crude supplies in the United States.


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