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MARKET PREVIEW: Disappointing results may reverse rally

A round of disappointing earnings could weigh on the Nasdaq, as results from Qualcomm and a delayed report from PurchasePro hit the markets. Asian and European markets were mixed, and the Dow is set to open slightly lower.


Wireless technology company Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) reported second-quarter earnings late Wednesday that were in line with analysts' forecasts. But it also warned that results for the next quarter and the rest of the year will be lower than expected as demand for its products continues to weaken.

PurchasePro (Nasdaq: PPRO) fell sharply Wednesday after it warned it would miss estimates in its quarter, due to be reported after the bell but postponed until Thursday morning. On Thursday, the company reported a loss excluding charges of $1.4 million, or 2 cents a share, on revenue of $29.8 million, down from revenue of $33.6 million in the fourth quarter. First Call's consensus for the company predicted earnings of 8 cents a share and revenue of $41 million. Shares aren't likely to revive.

Long-distance service provider WorldCom (Nasdaq: WCOM) will also report results Thursday morning, and a report from fiber-optic cable maker Corning (NYSE: GLW) is slated for after the bell.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most actively traded issues: InfoSpace, PeopleSoft, Qualcomm and Symantec.

The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 171 points to 10,625.01 Wednesday as investors applauded a pair of encouraging economic reports. The Nasdaq composite tacked on 43 points to finish at 2,059.62.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average may open 31 points lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was off 3.6 points to 1228 at 7:15 a.m. EDT in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 5 to 191.54.


Trading in Asia was mixed. The Nikkei 225 rose 145.53 to 13,973.03, Singapore's Straits Times index fell 0.76 to 1,670.07 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 43.56 to 1,3293.11.


European markets were also moving in different directions. London's FTSE 100 fell 16.50 to 5,811.00 the CAC 40 in Paris rose 1.11 to 5,408.95 and the Xetra DAX in Frankfurt was down 39.41 to 6,075.78.