MARKET PREVIEW: Techs mull Ciena, Microsoft news

Ciena delivered the goods for its fourth quarter, with strong numbers and raised guidance, while Microsoft took a hit from Goldman Sachs on Thursday. European markets were mixed, Asia lost ground, and the Dow is set to open lower.


Ciena (Nasdaq: CIEN) topped earnings estimates in its fourth quarter with earnings of 14 cents a share, excluding one-time items, on sales of $287.6 million. The company also upped its targets for 2001.

Goldman Sachs cut its estimates for Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), lowering revenue and earnings targets for the company due to sluggish PC sales.

National Semiconductor (NYSE:NSM), who lowered sales estimates back in October, will also deliver its quarterly results for its second quarter. The Street is looking for a profit of 51 cents per share.

Expect the following technology stocks to be among Thursday's most "http:="" www.zdii.com="" industry_list.asp?mode="news&doc_id=ZE506776&pic=Y"" rel="">actively traded issues: Concord Communications (Nasdaq: CCRD), Critical Path (Nasdaq: CPTH), Scient (Nasdaq: SCNT).

The Nasdaq closed Wednesday's session down 93.3 to 2,796.50. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 234.34 to 10,664.38.

At the Bell

The Dow Jones industrial average is expected to open down 163.9 points. The Standard & Poor's 500 index for December futures contracts fell 20.8 to 1353.4 at 7:18 a.m. EST in 24-hour electronic trading.

The Inter@ctive Week @Net Index fell 9 to 359.04.


The major Asian markets all slipped. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 87.43 to 15,011.52, the Nikkei 225 dropped 169.01 to 14,720.36 and Singapore's Strait Times shed 16.10 to 1,958.73.


European markets were mixed. London's FTSE 100 dropped 41 to 6,232.30, the CAC 40 in Paris inched up 1.28 to 5,986.52 and the DAX in Frankfurt gained 9.32 to 6,631.57 at 7:09 a.m. EST.

Reuters contributed to this report.