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Preopen Trading: Ericsson Down Sharply; Flat Opening Expected in U.S. Market

The cell phone maker is expected to fall sharply after cutting growth estimates.

Trading in U.S. equity futures indicates a flat open, but



is expected to drop sharply today after the mobile phone producer said sales and profit margin growth for 2000 would be lower than

expected. The shares were down sharply on the Stockholm exchange and in preopen trading were lately quoted at $11.88, down from yesterday's close at $14, according to


, a leading electronic trading network.

The results come in the same week



reported strong growth for its handset division, the only one of the three leading cell phone makers to report continued strength.



also cut earnings expectations for coming quarters after reporting results last week. Lately Nokia was quoted at $37.50 on Instinet, down from $38.13 yesterday, and Motorola was at $22.75, down from $23 yesterday.

After a smashing (yeah, baby) rally yesterday, a middling open is expected for the major U.S. indices. Stocks have struggled under the weight of unrealistic expectations and disappointing earnings this quarter, but recent reports from Nokia and



righted the market for at least one day yesterday.

Recently the

S&P 500 futures were traded at 1401, less than a point above fair value of 1400.41 as calculated by

Prudential Securities

. The

Nasdaq 100

futures were at 3443, down 2 points, but about 4.6 points above fair value as calculated by

. The calculation of fair value is used as a determinant of how stocks will trade at the market open.



, which reported strong

earnings following the close yesterday, was stronger on Instinet, up at $66.50 from $57.38 yesterday.



is expected to bounce sharply this morning after the confirmation that the diversified technology and manufacturing company will combine with fellow

Dow component

United Technologies


. The two stocks are being held from trading on Instinet this morning, according to an Instinet spokesperson, although Honeywell rallied sharply in after-hours trading yesterday and United Technologies fell on the news.

After reporting strong earnings yesterday, B2B company

Commerce One


was gaining in preopen action, lately traded at $72, up from $63.88 yesterday.



, which said this morning it is comfortable with third-quarter inventory levels, was rising, lately at $28, up from $27.70 yesterday.

European stocks were mixed. London's


was strong, gaining 61.70 to 6280.6; Paris'


rose 68.46 to 6134.94, while the

Xetra Dax

, Frankfurt's exchange, dropped 36.02 to 6583.41.

Asian stocks were tremendous, building on yesterday's gains in the Nasdaq. Hong Kong's

Hang Seng

closed up 622.01, or 4.3%, to 15044.53. Japan's

Nikkei 225

gained 387.65, or 2.6%, to 15198.73.

For more on after-hours action, see Thursday's

Night Watch.