Big Blue On Deck

Earnings season will swing into high gear next week, and IBM will lead the charge.

Big Blue will report its third-quarter results after the close on Monday. Analysts are looking for earnings of $1.13 a share, up a dime from a year ago, on sales of $21.71 billion, down 7.3% from a year ago, as the company’s results continue to reflect the sale of its unprofitable PC business to Lenovo. Also after the close on Monday, Novellus and Rambus will release their results.

On Tuesday, Yahoo , Intel and Motorola will be among the names reporting after the close. EMC will release its quarterly results Wednesday morning, and eBay will follow after the close that day. Google will report Thursday after the close.

With investors worried about a possible slowdown from Gulf Coast hurricanes and rising oil prices, what companies have to say about the trend of business in September and thus far in October could be more important than their third-quarter numbers.

Stocks rose Friday after core consumer inflation came in tame despite a big jump in energy prices in September, as investors shook off weaker than expected consumer sentiment and industrial production reports.

The Nasdaq rose 17 to 2064, the S&P 500 gained 10 to 1186, and the Dow rose 70 to 10,287. Volume declined to 2.21 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.56 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 22-10 on the NYSE, and 21-9 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 75% on the NYSE, and 77% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 23-246 on the NYSE, and 48-173 on the Nasdaq.

Adobe and Macromedia gained 6% each after their merger cleared U.S. antitrust review.

Silicon Image fell 5% on the departure of high-level executives.

First Data climbed 3.5% on its results.

Lexar gained 5% after winning a legal round against Toshiba .

Research in Motion and Texas Instruments fell on Bear Stearns downgrades.

VeriSign climbed 6% on a Morgan Stanley upgrade.

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