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Cisco a silver lining in earnings clouds

The Nasdaq and Dow retreat as investors appear pessimistic about the next round of quarterly results.

Cisco Systems was one of the few bright spots on the Nasdaq Monday, gaining on anticipation of an easy win in its upcoming fourth quarter.

The Nasdaq composite index fell 40.81 points to 1,988.56, and the Dow Jones industrial average lost 152.23 points to 10,424.42.

Cisco was the most actively traded stock on the Nasdaq, up 28 cents to $18.27 on talk that its fourth-quarter earnings are on track to meet estimates.

Another actively traded stock, Transmeta, fell 64 cents, or nearly 19 percent, to $2.86. More than 4 million shares were traded. The manufacturer of low-power chips on Thursday reported a second-quarter loss that met analysts' lowered expectations.

Printer maker Lexmark slid more than 15 percent, losing $9.14 to $49.51 after warning of a second-half slowdown in sales.

Investors weren't optimistic about other upcoming quarterly results; among technology companies scheduled to report after the bell Monday, AT&T was down 85 cents to $20.05, fell 95 cents to $16.03 and Computer Associates slipped 41 cents to $33.11.

In earnings news, Internet security company Check Point Software was up $1.15 to $36.57 after it announced second-quarter results that topped estimates by a penny.

BellSouth was off 40 cents to $40.40 after it reported net income was down by 17 percent in its second quarter. The company warned that earnings would be lower for the year.

Level 3 Communications was a big mover on the Nasdaq, up 57 cents, or over 12 percent, to $5.01 on news of its agreement with DirectTV Broadband, a unit of Hughes Electronics. Level 3 said it signed a new one-year agreement to provide Internet Protocol services to the broadband company.

Among technology bellwethers, Microsoft fell $2.09 to $67.09, Oracle lost 94 cents to $18.13 and Intel dropped 93 cents to $29.

AOL Time Warner dropped $1.31 to $43, and Yahoo fell 38 cents to $17.56.

Staff and Reuters contributed to this report.