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MARKET PREVIEW: Layoffs and earnings

Lucent and AOL Time Warner will get some attention from investors Wednesday as both announced layoffs. Many of the major Asia markets were closed while trading in Europe was mixed. Early indicators have the Dow set to open higher.


Before the bell, Lucent Technologies said it was slashing 10,000 jobs and taking a restructuring charge of up to $1.6 billion in a major cost cutting move. According to the company, the plan is designed to cut operating expenses by $2 billion. The company also reported a 30 cent a share loss in its first quarter, three cents steeper than estimates.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, newly merged AOL Time Warner (NYSE: AOL) will slash 2000 jobs, in addition to the previously-announced 400 layoffs at its CNN division, bringing the total cuts to 3 percent of the workforce.

Qwest Communications (NYSE:Q) posted a 44 percent jump fourth-quarter profit – topping analyst estimates by 2 cents a share - on robust growth in data and wireless telephone revenue.

Reporting after yesterday's close, Compaq Computer (NYSE: CPQ) beat lowered analyst estimates for its fourth-quarter and said it expects to meet 2001 forecasts.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Broadcom (Nasdaq: BRCM), Compaq (NYSE: CPQ), LSI Logic (NYSE: LSI) and Siebel Systems (Nasdaq: SEBL).

The Nasdaq continued its strong New Year run, rising 82.48 to 2,840.39 in Tuesday's trading session while the Dow Jones industrial average rose 71.57 to 10,649.81.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to open up 29 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 futures index gained 3.7 to 1369.70 at 7:40 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index gained 12 to 330.24.


The Nikkei 225 dropped 91.08 to 13,893.58. Markets in Hong Kong and Singapore were closed for the Chinese New Year holiday.


European markets were mixed. On the positive side, London's FTSE 100 gained 81.20 to 6,295.90 while the CAC 40 in Paris traded up 35.04 to 5,874.77. The DAX in Frankfurt slipped 2.38 to 6,720.03 at 7:11 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.