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The week ahead: Economic recovery?

A key report from the government will give investors a clue as to whether an economic recovery will happen sooner or later.

Following are some of the notable tech-related events scheduled for the week of May 20 through May 24.

A key report from the government will give investors a clue as to whether an economic recovery will happen sooner or later.

The U.S. Commerce Department will release preliminary numbers on gross domestic product for the first quarter, the tally of all goods and services produced in the time period.

An "advance" release last month pegged growth at an annual rate of 5.8 percent, a red-hot pace compared with the fourth-quarter of 2001's more modest growth of 1.7 percent and the third quarter's drop of 1.3 percent.

The figure can change from release to release as more data become available, so Wall Street will be watching for how much the numbers change, if at all.

All is mostly quiet on the earnings front this week, but investors will hear from a few telecom equipment companies. ADC Telecommunications reports on Wednesday; analysts surveyed by First Call expect the company to post a loss of 4 cents a share for the fiscal second quarter versus a loss of 15 cents a share for the same quarter a year ago.

Ciena releases earnings for the second fiscal quarter Thursday, and Wall Street estimates the company will lose 21 cents a share versus a profit of 20 cents last year.

Sycamore Networks reports Tuesday; analysts estimate that the gear maker will report a loss of 11 cents a share. In the third fiscal quarter a year ago, the company lost 19 cents.

Telecom equipment bellwether Juniper Networks will also have news to tell investors. The company will hold its analyst day Wednesday, the same day that wireless chipmaker Qualcomm talks to analysts.

Conferences will also attract some attention this week. Video game fanatics will flock to the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, the industry's most important event of the year, while two other conferences going on will focus on the use of Web portals in large companies.

The information was gathered from First Call, Hoover's Online, CCBN's StreetEvents, MSN's Moneycentral and CNET Investor.

Other events scheduled this week:

Tech Events
Monday, May 20
  • Lehman Brothers will host its Global Wireless Conference at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, May 20-21. Featured speakers will include Qualcomm CEO Irwin Jacobs, Sprint PCS CEO Chuck Levine and Nokia President Pekka Ala-Pietila.

  • Vixel will unveil new chip technology that lets storage companies build 2-gigabit-per-second Fibre Channel networking connections into their products.

  • Research firm Forrester Research will hold a conference on Web site design at the St. Regis Hotel in Los Angeles that will focus on how companies can get the most out of their e-commerce sites.

  • The Delphi Group, a consulting firm, will hold its Portal and Web Service conference at the Fairmont in San Jose, Calif., May 20-23. The event will discuss how a company can use internal and external Web sites and services to more efficiently manage its business.

  • Marcus Evans will stage a conference on optical Ethernet technology used in urban telecom networks in Boston, May 20-22. Representatives from Sprint, Corning, Lucent Technologies and Agilent Technologies will make presentations.

Tuesday, May 21
  • The Electronic Entertainment Expo takes place at the Los Angeles Convention Center, May 21-23. The event is the main trade show for the video game industry, and game console makers Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo will use the opportunity to promote their products and plans for online games to game developers amid a war of price cuts.

  • Investment bank Goldman Sachs will host its Internet, new media and e-commerce conference at the Venetian in Las Vegas, May 21-22. The event will include presentations by executives from eBay, Yahoo, PayPal,, and CNET Networks, the publisher of

  • The National Spectrum Managers Association will hold its annual conference at the Holiday Inn Westpark Hotel in Rosslyn, Va., May 21-22. The event will cover issues and obstacles related to the efficient use of radio spectrum that communications companies use for satellite and wireless signals. Featured speakers will include Kathleen Abernathy, a commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission, along with other experts from the FCC and academia.

  • Marcus Evans will hold a conference on wireless positioning and location-based services technology in San Francisco, May 21-22. Companies scheduled to present include Nortel Networks, Lucent Technologies and Cingular Wireless.

Wednesday, May 22
  • Wireless chipmaker Qualcomm will have its analyst meeting from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. EDT. The event will be Webcast.

  • Telecom equipment maker Juniper Networks will hold its analyst day at the Sheraton Hotel in Sunnyvale, Calif., between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. PDT. The event will be Webcast.

  • Outgoing Sun Microsystems Chief Operating Officer Ed Zander and other executives at the company will launch Solaris 9, the latest version of Sun's Unix operating system, at an event in Menlo Park, Calif. Sun says the new version includes better performance, security, management features and "partitioning," which lets several operating systems run on the same hardware.

  • Microsoft and Intel will conduct a course for developers on Microsoft's .Net software at the Holiday Inn City Centre in Chicago, May 22-23.

Thursday, May 23
  • On Thursday, Sun Microsystems will give a midquarter financial update on its fourth quarter of fiscal 2002, a glimpse into whether the company can maintain the gains over IBM in Unix server market share. Sun is recovering from an equipment glut left from the Internet mania, as well as from executive changes at the highest level.

  • A conference on Web portals for large businesses takes place at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, May 23-24. The event is for executives interested in how their company's Web portal can facilitate communication and transactions between their employees, customers and business partners.


Tuesday, May 21

  • Sycamore Networks makes telecom equipment. Per-share consensus estimate for the third fiscal quarter: loss of 11 cents.

Wednesday, May 22
  • ADC Telecommunications makes voice, video and data telecom gear for telephone, cable TV, Internet and wireless service providers. Per-share consensus estimate for the second fiscal quarter: loss of 4 cents.

  • Tech Data is a distributor of technology products. Per-share consensus estimate for the first fiscal quarter: profit of 57 cents.

  • Nvidia makes graphics chips for PCs. Per-share consensus estimate for the first fiscal quarter: profit of 46 cents.

Thursday, May 23
  • Ciena makes optical telecom gear and is in the process of merging with ONI Systems. Per-share consensus estimate for the second fiscal quarter: loss of 21 cents.

Economic Reports

Monday, May 20

  • The index of leading economic indicators (LEI) is expected to fall 0.1 percent for April as compiled by the Conference Board. In March, the LEI rose 0.1 percent. The index, which is designed to signal peaks and troughs in the business cycle, tracks 10 indicators that include consumer expectations, money supply data, and the change in housing permits issued. A falling index generally indicates an oncoming recession, while a climbing index signals an expansion.

  • The Treasury budget is a monthly report of the surplus or deficit of the U.S. government from the Department of Treasury. The surplus is expected to decrease in April to $72.5 billion from $189.8 billion in March.

Thursday, May 23
  • Durable goods orders represents the percentage increase or decrease of big-ticket items purchased, such as washing machines and refrigerators, as reported monthly by the Commerce Department. Economists use the number to measure demand in the economy and expect orders to rise 0.4 percent in April versus a decrease of 0.5 percent in March.

  • Initial claims refers to the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits each week as reported by the Department of Labor. Claims will be reported for the week ended May 18.

Friday, May 24
  • The Commerce Department will report preliminary gross domestic product numbers for the first quarter of 2002. GDP represents the value of U.S. goods and services produced within a certain time frame and is a measure of the nation's overall economic health. In an advance release, the government reported that first-quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 5.8 percent. GDP rose 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2001 and fell 1.3 percent in the third quarter of the same year.

  • The Commerce Department will release new home sales figures for April, representing the number of new homes sold in the United States and serving as another measure of demand in the economy. Wall Street expects home sales to increase to an annual rate of 883,000 from 878,000 during the previous month.