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Mixed open ahead, with fraction tech weakness

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Stock futures hint of a mixed open with marginal weakness in technology at the open as S&P futures (sp03m) trade unchanged at 986.70, while NASDAQ futures (nd03m) trade lower by 6 points at 1,208.50. Dow futures (dj03m) show an 18-point gain at 9,085 as Merrill Lynch sees a buying opportunity in International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM) $81.71 on weakness caused by the SEC investigation. Shares of IBM are gaining $1.21, or 1.4% to $82.92 in this morning's pre-market trade.

Fractional technology weakness is brought on after a third warning in as many days after the world's largest handset chipmaker Texas Instrument (NYSE:TXN) $20.37 warned and announced a larger-than-expected number of job cuts as SARS hit its Asian business units. Shares of TXN are trading down 5.7% from yesterday's close at $19.20 over the New York ECNs.

Software maker Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) $13.02 are gaining 10-cents ahead of tonight's quarterly earnings release. On Monday, the company said it would move its scheduled earnings release up to today's closing bell. Oracle has been been scheduled to release its Q4 earnings on June 17th, but an unsolicited bid for PeopleSoft (NASDAQ:PSFT) $17.88 last week is thought to be the reason for ORCL moving up its earnings release. Consensus is for the company to earn $0.14 per share.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $-0.04. That price will not change during the session. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $1.18 and set for program selling at $-0.92. Fair value for the NASDAQ-100 today is $0.90.

Foreign Markets

As the Dow Industrials hovers near the 9,000 level, the Nikkei jumped to mutli-month high and traded as high as 9,007.29, its best level since December 5, 2002, after the Bank of Japan said that it will buy asset-backed securities as part of its effort to spur the country's economy and make it easier for small and mid- sized companies to raise funds. Toyota Motor, which trades as an American Depository Receipt (ADR) (NYSE:TM) in the United States rose 1% to 3,080 yen.

European markets shrugged off yesterday's warning from Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and have mimicked yesterday's trade in U.S. markets. Major European oil stocks Royal Dutch (NYSE:RD) $47.26 and Total (NYSE:TOT) $77.08 both rose 1.8% after OPEC said it would leave supply quotas unchanged at 25.4 million barrels per day.

Asia/Pacific

Hong Kong.......Hang Seng.........9,662....-41.66..-0.43%

Japan...........Nikkei 225........8,890...+101.21..+1.15%

Taiwan..........Taiwan Weighted...4,804....-27.55..-0.57%

Europe

France..........CAC 40............3,100....+16.60..+0.54%

Germany.........DAX...............3,154....+13.66..+0.43%

Russia..........Moscow Times......5,451....+82.37..+1.53%

Switzerland.....Swiss Market......4,802....+13.60..+0.28%

United Kingdom..FTSE 100..........4,120.... +7.60..+0.18%

Jeff Bailey

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