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04.10.01 14:59

3839 Postings, 7687 Tage HAHAHAUSA - AKTUELL

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks are expected to rise at the opening bell on Thursday as Dell Computer Corp. DELL.O, the world's No. 1 personal computer maker, stood by its quarterly targets and lifted investor sentiment another notch after a hefty rally the day before.

"I think the worst is over," said Lance Zipper, managing director of equity trading at Brean Murray & Co. "I don't think the market will fly up, but I think we have seen the bottom."

Stocks soared on Wednesday after high-tech bellwether Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO.O stood by financial targets and President Bush proposed up to an additional $75 billion to pump up the economy. The tech-packed Nasdaq market raced almost 6 percent higher to its largest percentage gain since April.

Dell added another dose of cheer to a market grappling with uncertainty in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on the nation. The company's shares jumped to $22.55 before the opening bell from their Nasdaq close of $20.64 after Dell reaffirmed its quarterly sales and earnings guidance, saying it was winning new customers and successfully managing operating expenses.

Those comments came a day after the head of Web gear maker Cisco said he was comfortable with analysts' quarterly estimates. The upbeat outlooks from the two technology icons managed to overshadow a slew of profit warnings from other companies, including fiber-optic cable giant Corning Inc. GLW.N.

Equity futures extended gains after Dell reaffirmed guidance. The Nasdaq 100 pre-market indicator climbed 1.51 percent. Standard & Poor's 500 futures for December gained 5.60 points to 1,080. December futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 35 points to 9,155. The indicative Dow .DJII, based on trading of the Dow 30 on Germany's Deutsche Boerse U.S. market segment, added 0.34 percent.

Workers displaced following the Sept. 11 attack pushed up new U.S. jobless benefits for the second straight week to the highest level in nine years, the Labor Department said on Thursday before markets opened.

First-time claims for state unemployment insurance benefits rose more sharply than expected to 528,000 in the week ended Sept. 29 from a revised 457,000 in the previous week and the highest since 539,000 in the July 25, 1992, week, when the country was struggling to emerge from its last recession.

Labor Department spokeswoman Cindy Ambler said the steep increase in this week's claims reflect a domino effect from the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, particularly in travel and tourism.

Many economists fear the nation's economy, already struggling before the collapse of the World Trade Center in New York, has slipped into a recession. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan gave Congress the green light to go ahead with proposals for a bumper stimulus package to help the economy recover from the shock of the attacks.

Economic reports in the days ahead could underscore a weakening economy but point to even more interest-rate cuts from the U.S. Federal Reserve. On Tuesday, the central bank ratcheted down interest rates for the ninth time this year.

Economists expect the September jobs report, set for release on Friday, to show another increase in the unemployment rate to 5.0 percent from 4.9 percent. Merrill economists are predicting a rise to 6 percent by early next year and "possibly higher."

Corning, which warned will miss quarterly earnings estimates as it expands a restructuring effort, was joined by other high-profile names that warned results will be weaker than forecast.

Global Crossing Ltd. GX.N said after the close it expects quarterly results to come in below expectations. The high-speed communications company is in preliminary talks to merge with its Asian affiliate, Asia Global Crossing Ltd. , the companies said on Thursday before the opening bell.

Hotel operator Marriott International Inc. before the open reported a drop in fiscal third-quarter earnings due to the economic slowdown and lowered fourth-quarter estimates in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S.

Nasdaq share dealer Knight Trading Group Inc. said before the open its quarterly results will fall below analysts' expectations due to adverse market conditions during the quarter and four lost trading days following the September 11 attacks.

But Internet security company Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. , citing the Sept. 11 attacks, said after Wednesday's close it expects to meet current Wall Street estimates for its quarterly profits, despite a drop in revenue for September. Shares ended at $25.99.

On Wednesday, the Nasdaq Composite Index  soared 88.48 points, or 5.93 percent, to 1,580.81, notching its biggest gain since April 18. The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average  jumped 173.19 points, or 1.93 percent, to 9,123.78. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index  climbed 20.95 points, or 1.99 percent, to 1,072.28.

 

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