(Updated from 7:22 p.m. EST)

Investors worry about impending earnings like fathers worry about their teenage daughters on first dates -- they expect the worst.

But

3Com

(COMS)

was a perfect gentleman, breathing relief into the fluttering hearts of investors after reporting a narrower than expected first-quarter loss.

Wall Street analysts thought the networking company would lose 33 cents a share due to a shift in its business strategy, but it actually unveiled an 18-cent loss. The company itself had projected a loss of $67.5 million to $90 million, or 19 cents to 25 cents a share, but beat its own estimates and showed signs of growth despite the restructuring. Sales were up 20% sequentially at $933.8 million.

In the fourth quarter, 3Com announced that it was refocusing its business on high-growth markets such as broadband access, IP telephony, wireless technology and others. In last year's first quarter the company made a profit of 32 cents.

After settling 0.5% lower in front of its financial results, 3Com climbed $2.06, or 14.8%, to $16 on 600,113

Instinet

shares and added $2.18, or 15%, to $16.12 on 548,000

Island

shares.

The good news seemed to lift

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

, which was foundering in the red before the 3Com's announcement and had ended the day $2, or 3.5%, lower. The networking giant gained 31 cents to $55.50 on Instinet.

It was a different dog that took a bite out of the market today. Intel was no longer the heavy as it yielded to

Eastman Kodak's

(EK)

bad news that third-quarter profits would not be picture-perfect. At night, Intel took the opportunity out of the spotlight to stage a light recovery. It was the fourth-most-traded stock on Island ECN, up 50 cents to $43.81 on 95,000 shares.

Israel's fast-growing tech sector is getting a little closer-knit. A consortium of Israeli companies announced plans to form an online B2B marketplace to facilitate online trading among Israeli firms, and

TheStreet Recommends

Commerce One

(CMRC)

will power the network by connecting Israel to its Global Trading Web. Big names such as

Compaq's

(CPQ)

Compaq Israel

unit are involved in the deal as well. Investors ignored news of this alliance during the day, pushing Commerce One 7% lower. It recovered $3.37, or 4.5%, to $78.50.

While class-action lawsuits are quite common, the class-action lawsuit filed against

ICG Communications

(ICGX)

added further postclose pressure to the communication service provider's 20% plummet during the day. It dropped an additional 50 cents, or 50% to 50 cents, hitting a fresh 52-week low since Sept. 20.

Tibco Software

(TIBX)

, a supplier of high-speed data distribution software, also had some happy news for the nervous. Third-quarter earnings were as warm and fuzzy as a

Disney

movie. The company earned 7 cents a share, surpassing the 5 cents slated by Wall Street consensus and a nice improvement on the 2 cents it lost this time last year.

The company, whose real-time e-business software products are used by Web publishers, said saw software licensing fees swell to $48.5 million in the third quarter from $13.2 million a year earlier. It was up $5.87, or 7%, to $90.87.

This information is provided by Instinet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reuters (RTRSY) . For further information, please contact Instinet at www.instinet.com.

Island ECN, owned by Datek Online, offers trading, mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT.

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