MARKET PREVIEW: Techs eye Ciena, PC-makers

Strong earnings from Ciena should keep investors busy ahead of earnings from two computer giants. Trading in the major European and Asian markets was mixed, and the Dow is set to open higher.


Optical equipment maker Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN) reported earnings of 18 cents a share in its first quarter--3 cents ahead of the Street's estimates. Revenue rose to $191.84 million compared to $152.21 million a year earlier.

U.S. investors will be awaiting results from two computer giants on Thursday. Both Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HWP) will report quarterly earnings numbers, after the market closes.

Last month, both companies slashed their quarterly targets--along with the entire PC sector--due to weaker economic conditions and a slowdown in corporate and consumer technology spending. First Call analysts' consensus expectations are for earnings of 19 cents a share for Dell, and 37 cents a share for Hewlett-Packard.

Communications network company Global Crossing reported a narrower-than-expected loss for its fourth quarter after yesterday's market close.

The weekly jobless claims number, due for release before the opening bell, will be watched for more signs of a slowing U.S. economy. Briefing.com's economist survey projects 355,000 new claims for the week ended Feb. 10, down from 361,000 the previous week.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most "http:="" www.zdii.com="" industry_list.asp?mode="news&doc_id=ZE507575&pic=Y"" rel="">actively traded issues: Global Crossing (NYSE: GX), NVIDIA (Nasdaq: NVDA) and VoiceStream Wireless (Nasdaq: VSTR).

The Nasdaq ended Tuesday's session up 63.68 to 2,491.40 while the Dow Jones industrial average lost 107.91 to 10,795.41.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to open up 18 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 futures index rose 2.2 to 1322 at 7:21 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index rose 8 to 266.87.


The major Asian markets were mixed. The Nikkei 225 and Singapore's Straights Times both traded higher, up 43.33 to 13,327.39 and 9.45 to 1,975.55, respectively. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 104.05 to 15,756.37.


The story was much the same in Europe. On the positive side, the CAC 40 in Paris inched up 0.66 to 5,644.89 and the DAX in Frankfurt rose 37.17 to 6,517.04. London's FTSE 100 slipped 18.40 to 6,157.80 at 7:11 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.