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MARKET PREVIEW: Wall Street awaits earnings

Earnings from Yahoo and Motorola, along with the possible approval of a mega-merger, should keep investors busy on Wednesday. The major Asian markets were mixed while those in Europe traded lower. Early indicators have the Dow set to open lower.


Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) and Motorola (NYSE: MOT) should attract attention today ahead of the release of their fourth-quarter earnings reports, due after market close. First Call analysts expect Yahoo to post earnings of 13 cents a share on revenue of $315 million.

For its part, wireless phone maker Motorola is expected to report earnings of 15 cents a share, down from 26 cents a year earlier, according to First Call. The company twice lowered its expectations for the quarter.

According to several media sources, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may vote to approve the proposed mega-merger of AOL (NYSE: AOL) and Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) as early as today. Additionally, CNBC cited a Wall Street Journal article that said the FCC may choose not impose stringent conditions on instant messaging, a key sticking point in the merger talks.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Evoke Communications (Nasdaq: EVOK), ServiceWare Technologies (Nasdaq: SVCW) and Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO).

The Nasdaq closed Tuesday's session up 45.38 to 2,441.30 while the Dow Jones industrial average shed 48.80 to 10,572.55.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to open down 69 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 futures index lost 8.50 to 1301.00, below fair value, at 7:26 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 11 to 274.96.


The major Asian markets were mixed. The Nikkei 225 lost 177.86 to 13,432.65 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 64.80 to 15,435.79. Singapore's Strait Times eked out a modest gain, rising 1.84 to 1,969.91.


In Europe, markets were in negative territory. London's FTSE 100 slipped 24.30 to 6,063.80, the CAC 40 in Paris was off 40.60 to 5,622.59 and the DAX in Frankfurt dropped 99.21 to 6,305.31 at 7:09 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.