Lucent Bucks The Downtrend

An unlikely suspect escaped a broad market sell-off on Wednesday: Lucent , which soared 13% after posting its first profit in 3 1/2 years.

Revenues continue to decline at the troubled telecom equipment maker, but after $5.6 billion in cost-cutting, investors were happy just to see a profit.

Would it be that Amazon investors were as easy to please.

Shares of Amazon plummeted 9% after beating estimates, as investors were looking for more upside.

Combined with an earnings miss and warning from Merck , stocks were in for a bad day.

The Nasdaq plunged 42 to 1898, the S&P 500 fell 15 to 1030, and the Dow dropped 149 to 9598. Volume rose to 1.62 billion shares on the NYSE, but declined to 1.72 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 22-9 on the NYSE, and 23-7 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 77% on the NYSE, and 76% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 126-11 on the NYSE, and 130-16 on the Nasdaq.

Earnings were mixed after the close.

Beating estimates were Veritas , Symantec , Corning , AskJeeves , Foundry , Cirrus , Flextronics , SafeNet , Ariba , LSI , Roxio , and eResearch . SafeNet also announced plans to merge with Rainbow . SunGard met estimates.

Warning after hours were KLA-Tencor , Citrix , Intersil , Tekelec , Digital River , Macromedia , Computer Associates , and Mercury Interactive .

During the day, there wasn’t much in-between for companies reporting earnings.

Internet Security , RF Micro , CheckFree , , webMethods and AsiaInfo rose on their results.

Seagate , StorageTek , Dot Hill , Avaya , Cymer , and Advanced Fibre fell on their reports.

Microsoft lost 1.6% ahead of its earnings report tomorrow night.

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