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Stocks are going to get a bounce this morning. But whether or not this bounce will hold after the open is uncertain.

At 8:15 a.m. EDT, the

S&P 500 futures

were up 10 points, over 6 points above fair value and indicating some strength this morning. The

Nasdaq 100

futures were up 53 points, indicating some strong buying pressure in large-cap technology stocks in the early going.


Nasdaq Composite Index

is set to move higher this morning, riding out yesterday's late afternoon upside. Even


(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report

, which helped drag the Nasdaq down yesterday after tanking on messy revenue and antitrust news, is staging a comeback this morning.

But there are plenty of investors out there who are dying to sell on a rally, and plenty of Wall Street pros who say recent upswings are just soap bubbles in what continues to be a high-wind bear market. We have not seen enough fear to mark a real bottom yet, they say, while volume remains low and breadth poor. According to this version of matters, the Nasdaq is set to retest its intraday lows, even breaking down and falling lower still.

In any case, things continue to look up for old-economy companies as former techs cheerleaders defect to the value side of the playing field. Even if the Nasdaq slumps lower, strong Dow companies and sectors could head higher. Recent favorites include drug, food and health care companies with solid earnings.

Meanwhile, it looks like war in the paper industry after

International Paper

TheStreet Recommends

(IP) - Get International Paper Company Report

launched an unsolicitied $6.2 billion cash and stock offer for rival

Champion International

(CHA) - Get China Telecom Corp. Ltd. Report

. International Paper is up against another offer by Finland's

UPM-Kymmene Oyj


Of course, with value versus growth taking center stage, investors will continue to eye earnings carefully this week as the last of the March quarter reports roll in. Today's

earnings slate is looking fat, with 48 S&P 500 companies on the list. Some of the bigger names include




Nortel Networks



Exxon Mobile

(XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report



(DD) - Get DuPont de Nemours, Inc. Report



(XRX) - Get Xerox Holdings Corporation Report

has already reported earnings 5 cents above consensus estimates and

Bell Atlantic


reported earnings in-line with estimates.

The bond market was edging down, with the 10-year note off 5/32 to 103 10/32 and yielding 6.046%. Meanwhile, existing home sales for March will be released today at 10:00 a.m by the National Association of Realtors.

European bourses, back from their four-day holiday today, were giving back earlier losses and heading higher near midsession as U.S. markets showed signs of a firmer open. The Paris


was up 10.14 to 6244.65, while Frankfurt's

Xetra Dax

was 86.53 higher to 7244.48. Across the channel, London's


was up 9.4 to 6250.6.

The euro was trading down at $0.9302.

Asian bourses were mixed over yesterday's Nasdaq scare and late afternoon rebound. In Hong Kong, blue-chips edged higher overnight in thin choppy trade and the benchmark

Hang Seng Index

closed up 12.87 points to 15,380.01.

In early Tokyo trading, tech investors weren't fazed by the Nasdaq's woes, as the effect on blue-chips of the newly-constituted


index continued to be the big story. But by the close, investors were profit taking, and the Nikkei closed down 207.82 to 18272.33.

The dollar weakened against the yen overnight, moving to 105.28 yen at Tokyo's close. The greenback was edging higher in recent trading and was lately sitting at 105.45 yen.

For a look at stocks in the preopen news, see Stocks to Watch, published separately.