All Eyes On Intel, IBM

Intel will report third-quarter earnings tomorrow night, and investors can be forgiven if their expectations are already high.

The chip giant has already raised guidance twice this quarter, and earnings are expected to double from the year-ago quarter to 22 cents a share.

That build-up gives Intel the rare challenge of topping already high expectations. Can it? It is interesting to note that in the trading sessions after Intel raised guidance in August and September, the Nasdaq gained a grand total of 4 points while the Dow and S&P were lower.

Investors will have one day to digest Intel’s earnings before IBM reports. Analysts are expecting much less from Big Blue after Wednesday’s close, just a 2% year-over-year gain, so that could give IBM a better chance to surprise than Intel.

Stocks posted strong gains Monday ahead of this week’s earnings reports.

The Nasdaq rose 18 to 1933, the S&P 500 gained 7 to 1045, and the Dow climbed 89 to 9764. Volume declined to 1.04 billion shares on the NYSE, but rose to 1.5 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 23-9 on the NYSE, and 22-9 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 75% on the NYSE, and 68% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 484-2 on the NYSE, and 375-7 on the Nasdaq.

Motorola edged higher after beating and raising estimates. The company released earnings early to counter a Moody’s credit rating downgrade.

eBay fell 2.4% on a rare Sell rating from Salomon Smith Barney on concern about the company’s Motors unit. surged 8% on plans for an online travel offering.

Transmeta soared 18% on a positive Wall Street Journal article.

Computer Associates gained 5% on an upgrade.

WebMD fell 9% on a warning.

Citrix surged 8% on a deal with IBM .

ARM Holdings rose 6% after unveiling new chips.

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