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MARKET PREVIEW: Earnings roll on

Tech earnings continue to dominate Wednesday, with Intel and others moving after topping estimates yesterday, and IBM set to report after the bell. The major Asian markets were mixed while those in Europe were gaining ground. The Dow is set to open higher.


Among a host of other companies reporting after yesterday's close, tech bellwether Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) topped analysts' reduced estimates for its fourth quarter by a penny. However, the chip giant said that its first quarter-sales would fall about 15 percent from the fourth quarter level. Despite the outlook, the company's stock rose in pre-session action.

Also after the bell, Applied Micro Circuits (Nasdaq: AMCC) beat estimates for its third quarter while Juniper (Nasdaq: JNPR)'s fourth quarters numbers surpassed targets.

Today's earnings docket is lead by IBM (NYSE:IBM), which is expected to report earnings of $1.46 a share for its fourth quarter, after market close. Other techs reporting today include Teradyne (NYSE: TER), Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD), i2 Technologies (Nasdaq: ITWO) and Apple Computers (Nasdaq: AAPL).

OPEC is expected to cut oil production by about 5 percent, or 1.5 million barrels per day, at Wednesday's ministerial meeting in Vienna, despite pleas from the United States, among other countries.

On the economic front, the Labor Department will release its Consumer Price Index (CPI) for December. According to, economist consensus calls for a 0.2 percent rise.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Wednesday's most actively traded issues: Allaire (Nasdaq: ALLR), Applied Micro Circuits (Nasdaq: AMCC), Handspring (Nasdaq: HAND), Juniper (Nasdaq: JNPR), Novellus Systems (Nasdaq: NVLS) and Intel (Nasdaq: INTC).

The Nasdaq slipped 7.95 to 2,618.55 on Tuesday while the Dow Jones industrial average gained 127.28 to 10,652.66.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to open up 67 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 futures index gained 8.5 to 1344, above fair value, at 7:32 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 1 to 301.33.


The major Asian markets were mixed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng and Singapore's Strait Times both gained ground, slipping 101.67 to 15,261.48 and 8.84 to 1,907.18, respectively. The Nikkei 225 rose 83.18 to 13,667.63.


European markets were trading higher. London's FTSE 100 rose 81.20 to 6,164.50, the CAC 40 in Paris was up 103.79 to 5,865.46 and the DAX in Frankfurt gained 123.35 to 6,626.24 at 7:14 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.