The whole family has gathered to pay respects to your Aunt Minnie. Memories and casseroles abound, occasional tears are daubed with hankies, and everyone agrees it was a mistake to take up ice climbing at her age. But you sit glued to your laptop, pecking away at your browser as you search for a better deal at coffins4less.com.
Or at least that's the way it could turn out, pending the results of Federal Trade Commissions hearings this week to consider competition in Internet sales of--among other items--caskets.
Speaking of moribund, next week's financial calendar includes earnings announcements from several biggies in the communications sector, but the big news is uberportal Yahoo, looking for results from a blizzard of recent revenue-boosting. And the CEOs of Microsoft, Intel, Dell Computer, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard will all try to read the high-tech tea leaves at a symposium conducted by research firm Gartner.
Other events scheduled this week:
- Research firm Gartner takes the pulse of the technology industry at Symposium/Itxpo 2002, running Oct. 6-11 in Orlando, Fla. Keynote speakers include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Intel CEO Craig Barrett and Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.
- Software researchers discuss their work at the International Conference on Principles and Practice of Declarative Programming, running Oct. 6-8 in Pittsburgh.
- Software makers discuss digital rights management and related issues at EC4S, running Oct. 6-10 in San Jose, Calif.
- Graphics and publishing professionals will learn new tricks at Graph Expo and Converting Expo, happening Oct. 6-9 in Chicago.
- Fashion and function merge at the International Symposium on Wearable Computers, which includes a demonstration of something called a "parasitic humanoid." The conference runs Oct. 7-10 in Seattle.
- The Federal Trade Commission plans to hold a public workshop to discuss competition in Internet sales of contact lenses, real estate and, yes, caskets. It happens Oct. 8-10 at FTC headquarters in Washington, D.C.
- Microsoft spills the beans on Microsoft Exchange Conference 2002, Oct. 8-11 in Anaheim, Calif.
- How do you really know who's on the other end of that fiber optic line? Hear some new ideas at Digital ID World, an exploration of current and future identification technologies. It runs Oct. 9-11 in Denver.
- Take a crack at the technology industry's gender gap at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, running Oct. 9-12 in Vancouver, Canada.
- Explore the thriving world of content management software, applications that help a business organize its digital assets, at the Content Management Summit, a one-day seminar in New York.
Monday, Oct. 7
- Entegris makes semiconductor manufacturing components and equipment. It's expected to report earnings of 5 cents a share for its fourth quarter and 3 cents a share for the 2002 fiscal year.
- Infosys Technologies sells IT consulting services. It's expected to report a second-quarter profit of 34 cents a share.
- Nu Horizons Electronics is a distributor of semiconductors and other electronics components. It's expected to report a second-quarter profit of 2 cents a share.
- Numerical Technologies sells semiconductor design software and services. It's expected to report break-even third-quarter earnings.
- Rambus licenses designs for PC memory chips. It's expected to report a profit of 5 cents a share for its fourth quarter and 24 cents a share for the 2002 fiscal year.
- Redback Networks sells networking equipment and software. It's expected to report a third-quarter loss of 23 cents a share.
- Sonus Networks sells voice networking products. It's expected to report a third-quarter loss of 9 cents a share.
- Yahoo offers a variety of consumer Internet content and services. It's expected to report a third-quarter profit of 4 cents a share.
- Juniper Networks sells network routers and software. It's expected to report a third-quarter loss of 2 cents a share.
Network Associates sells security software and services. It's expected to report third-quarter earnings of 12 cents a share.
- Plumtree Software sells business applications. It's expected to report a third-quarter profit of a penny per share.
- Consumer Credit is the total level of debt held by U.S. consumers. The August total is expected to dip to $9.5 billion, from $10.8 billion the previous month.
- Initial Claims is the weekly total of new claims filed for unemployment compensation. The total is expected to dip to 415,00 for the week ended Oct. 5, from 417,000 the previous week.
- Export Prices and Import Prices track changes in average prices for nonpetroleum and nonagricultural goods and provide an early clue to shifts in trade balance. There are no forecasts for September figures.
- The Producer Price Index is a broad measure of the price of goods at the wholesale level. September figures are expected to show a 0.1 percent decline, after flat growth the previous month.
- Retail Sales measures total receipts from U.S. stores. September figures are expected to show a 1 percent decline, after 0.8 percent growth the previous month. Excluding auto sales, growth is expected to be flat, at 0.4 percent.