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Profit Forecasts Push Stocks Higher

The Nasdaq rises better than 2%, while the Dow and the S&P climb 1.8%.
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Updated from 4:02 p.m. EST

Stocks posted big gains Monday as rosy forecasts from leaders in the retail, technology and automobile sectors invigorated investors.


Dow Jones Industrial Average recorded its second straight double-digit gain, ending higher by 177.56 points, or 1.8%, to 10,145.71. The

Nasdaq added 45.34 points, or 2.6%, to 1769.88, and the

S&P 500 rose 19.59 points, or 1.8%, to 1109.43.

Signs of stabilization in corporate earnings were emerging, as several companies backed their previous guidance or raised their expectations. One of those was wireless technology developer


(QCOM) - Get QUALCOMM Incorporated Report

, which reaffirmed its second-quarter earnings outlook of 20 cents a share, citing stronger-than-expected telephone chip shipments. Shares of Qualcomm traded up $3.21, or 9.8%, to $35.91.

In the retail sector,


(WSM) - Get Williams-Sonoma Inc. (DE) Report

raised its earnings estimate for the latest fiscal year to $1.31 to $1.32 a share from previous guidance of $1.25 to $1.28. The company also anticipates a profit of $1.52 to $1.56 a share for the coming fiscal year. The stock added $1.06, or 2.4%, to $45.15.

Home-improvement products seller


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TheStreet Recommends

(LOW) - Get Lowe's Companies Inc. Report

posted fourth-quarter earnings of 28 cents a share, beating analysts' expectations of 25 cents. Sales for the quarter rose 15.6% to $5.3 billion, roughly in line with the consensus. The company projected first-quarter earnings of 35 cents to 36 cents a share and earnings of $1.55 to $1.58 a share for the fiscal year. Shares of Lowe's advanced $1.44, or 3.1%, to $47.49.

The auto sector rose after

General Motors

(GM) - Get General Motors Company Report

raised its first-quarter and 2002 earnings and production projections to reflect stronger-than-anticipated sales. Meanwhile, an article in

The Wall Street Journal

argued that the Big Three automakers, GM,


(F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report




each face potential labor problems over the next year. GM ended at $55.48, up 4.5%.

Another Dow component,

Eastman Kodak


, also contributed to the positive tone as the photography company reiterated its earnings forecast for the first quarter and full year. Its shares were up $1.21, or 4%, to $31.57.

In the tech sector, analysts at Banc of America upgraded

Sun Microsystems

(SUNW) - Get Sunworks Inc. Report

to a buy rating from market outperform, saying the stock has traded down to more realistic levels. Shares of Sun tacked on 80 cents, or 9.9%, to $8.87.

Computer Associates

(CA) - Get CA, Inc. Report

was under pressure after confirming on Friday that it is being investigated by the

Securities and Exchange Commission

for its accounting practices. After the close of trading Friday, Standard & Poor's lowered its outlook on CA's debt, although the agency didn't change any ratings. The stock slipped a penny to $15.98.

Tyco International


was higher after the company said a federal court granted its motion to dismiss a class-action complaint that had consolidated 38 suits against the company and several executives under federal securities laws. The claims pertained to the company's disclosure policy and accounting practices. The stock climbed $2, or 7.3%, to $29.50.

Williams Communications

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said it was considering filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of an effort to restructure its balance sheet. The stock closed at 22 cents, down 57% on the day. The 52-week high is $14.20. Still, the broader sector was held up fairly well, with the American Stock Exchange Networking Index higher by 0.8%.



was one of the most active stocks on the Big Board, falling nearly 4% to $6.83 in heavy trading on concerns about the energy company's long-term power contracts with the state of California.

Treasuries were dropping across the board, with issues weakening as their maturities lengthened. Around 4 p.m. EST, the 10-year Treasury note was off 5/32 to 100 7/32, yielding 4.85%.

Equities in Europe were higher, with London's FTSE 100 gaining 1% to 5101 and Germany's Xetra DAX up 2.5% at 4864. Stocks were lower in Asia. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.6% to 10,296, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 1.6% to close at 10,496.