What do Apple (AAPL) - Get Report, America Online (AOL) and Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report have in common? You got it: The three big tech names report earnings after today's close.

Back on Sept. 28, Apple warned investors that fourth-quarter earnings would fall "substantially" short of expectations. Yesterday, ahead of its actual earnings announcement, Apple closed down $1.38, or 6.4%, at $20.13.

Shares of America Online touched a 52-week low yesterday, amid concerns about the slowdown in dot-com advertising spending. AOL and

Time Warner

(TWX)

still await U.S. regulatory approval for their merger, which is expected to close this fall. America Online plunged $9.01, or 17.1%, to $43.60, in advance of its earnings report. Time Warner, which also reports today, also plunged, dropping $12.24, or 15.7%, to $65.56.

Microsoft got a small boost yesterday from

Goldman Sachs

analyst Rick Sherlund, who said the software giant might be due for a "relief rally." Sherlund predicted that Microsoft might rebound from the 52-week low of $49.56 it hit Monday, if there is no bad news in its earnings report today. Mister Softee finished up 6 cents to $50.44 yesterday.

In the economic arena, the September

TST Recommends

Consumer Price Index -- a key inflationary measure -- headlines today's events.

Expected Earnings Reports

This table includes S&P 500 companies only. Dates are as expected according to First Call/Thomson Financial, and may change. The full week's earnings calendar is published separately.

* = Possibly reporting

Economic Data

(

Forecasts are from

Reuters

. Times are Eastern. For a longer-term economic calendar and more, see

TSC's

Economic Databank.

)

  • 7 a.m.: Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ended Friday. Source: Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinancing Index: Forecast: N/A. Previous: 475. Purchase Index: Forecast: N/A. Previous: 302.8.
  • 8:30 a.m.: Consumer Price Index. Source: Labor Department. Forecast: +0.4%. Previous: -0.1%. Ex-food and energy: Forecast: +0.2%. Previous: +0.2%.
  • 8:30 a.m.: Real earnings for September. Source: Labor Department. Forecast: N/A. Previous: +0.1%.
  • 8:30 a.m.: Housing starts for September. Source: Census Bureau. Forecast: 1.545M. Previous: 1.531M. Building permits: Forecast: N/A. Previous: 1.468M.
  • 9 a.m.: Treasury buyback announcement. Source: Bureau of the Public Debt. The Treasury announces the details of tomorrow's reverse auction.
  • 2:30 p.m.: Treasury auction announcement. Source: Bureau of the Public Debt. The Treasury announces the size of its next monthly two-year note auction, next Wednesday.
  • 6:30 p.m.: Consumer Comfort Index for the week ended Saturday. Source: Money Magazine and ABC News. Forecast: N/A. Previous: 30.