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MARKET PREVIEW: Techs eye Dell cuts, Cisco earnings

Job cuts from Dell Computer's and Cisco Systems' upcoming earnings reports will take the spotlight Tuesday. The Dow is set to open higher.

Some economic news will also catch investors' attention. The initial report on first-quarter productivity is due from the government before the market opens. An increase of 1.1 percent, down from the 2.2 percent fourth-quarter gain, is expected.

The March report on wholesale inventories, which are expected to have grown 0.2 percent from the prior month after a 0.1 percent decline in February, is also due Tuesday.

Stocks to Watch

  • Dell (DELL) announced more layoffs and reiterated its forecast late Monday, sending shares as high as $27 in after-hours trading after closing at $25.91 in regular trading. The PC maker said it will meet lowered earnings forecasts for its fiscal first quarter, ended May 3. Dell also said it will eliminate 3,000 to 4,000 jobs during the next six months, about 10 percent of its workforce.

    The cuts, which will primarily affect Texas employees, were widely expected, as PC sales have eaten away at the bottom lines of most computer manufacturers.

  • Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) could also be active ahead of its third-quarter report after the closing bell. The networking equipment company is expected to report earnings of 2 cents a share, according to First Call. That's down from 14 cents a share a year earlier.

  • Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT) will get a financial boost from news that it doesn't have to pay a $523.3 million U.S. tax bill from the 1980s for leasing phone systems to corporate customers through a subsidiary, the U.S. Tax Court ruled.

  • (Nasdaq: PCLN) rose from its close of $5.30 to as high as $6 in after-hours trading after the Internet travel service named Chairman Richard Braddock to replace Daniel Schulman as chief executive.

    At the Bell

    The Dow Jones industrial average may open 50 points higher. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for June futures contracts was up 5.8 points to 1,269 at 7:15 a.m. EDT in 24-hour electronic trading.

    Reuters contributed to this report.

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