Yahoo, RIMM Kick Off Earnings Season

Earnings season officially begins this week, with Dow component Alcoa up first on Tuesday.

For tech investors, the big news will come Wednesday after the close, when Yahoo and Research in Motion report.

Yahoo is expected to earn 11 cents a share, up 3 cents from a year ago, and revenues are expected to come in at $497 million. However, a number of analysts have made positive comments on the stock in recent days, so expectations may be higher than published estimates.

RIMM is expected to earn a whopping 49 cents a share, up from a 7-cent loss a year ago. If investors want a reason for the stock’s 1,300% gain off the October 2002 lows, numbers like that are a good place to start. RIMM blew out estimates last quarter, reporting earnings of 31 cents a share versus estimates of 17 cents, so expectations may be high for RIMM too. But if a rumored deal with Sprint PCS comes through, RIMM may keep right on trucking.

The broader market gained Monday on a stronger than expected reading of the service sector.

The Nasdaq surged 21 to 2079, the S&P 500 rose 8 to 1150, and the Dow gained 87 to 10,558. Volume declined to 1.4 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.74 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 18-15 on the NYSE, but advancers led 20-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 64% on the NYSE, and 75% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 259-39 on the NYSE, and 274-18 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Brooktrout , Marimba and E.piphany warned.

During the day, Critical Path soared 150% on a deal with GE .

Nortel lost 4% on news of an SEC investigation into the company’s recent earnings restatement.

Dot Hill gained 6% despite warning.

Concord Communications tumbled 13% on a warning.

NetRatings surged 15% on a positive write-up in Barron’s.

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