Play the after-hours market. Go ahead, we dare you.

Bargain-hunting investors have taken that challenge, on the heels of a 127.5-point drop on the

Nasdaq Composite Index this afternoon. Today's losses came as a result of dim outlooks from

Nortel Networks

(NT)

,

Hewlett-Packard

(HWP)

and

Dell Computer

(DELL) - Get Report

and an indication from the January

Producer Price Index that inflation concerns must still be a consideration.

Further, the market had to contend with news that U.S. and British aircraft fired upon two military command and control centers outside Baghdad late this afternoon.

Notwithstanding today's nasty Nasdaq spill, postclose patrons have taken the plunge tonight, bidding up some of the most beaten-down technology stocks from the regular session. Nortel Networks, which tanked 33% today, edged up 1.3% to $20.25 on

Island

ECN.

Last night, Nortel warned of a sharp first-quarter earnings and revenue shortfall, saying that the U.S. economic slowdown is "faster and more severe" than it had expected. The company forecast a first-quarter operating loss of 4 cents per share on revenue of $6.3 billion, compared to analysts' expectations for earnings of 16 cents per share on revenue of $8.1 billion. Nortel also said that it would cut an additional 4,000 jobs, on top of the 6,000 it has already slashed, by the end of 2001.

Other stocks in the optical networking sector got a small bounce after the bell.

JDS Uniphase

(JDSU)

increased 1.7% to $36.42 on Instinet and rose 1.6% to $36.38 on Island and

Juniper Networks

(JNPR) - Get Report

lifted 0.5% to $80.38 on Instinet and boosted 0.3% to $80.25 on Island.

The optical sector got a false start yesterday, after

Ciena

(CIEN) - Get Report

said it beat Wall Street estimates for its fiscal first-quarter earnings, and more importantly, forecast strong growth for the year. That stock recovered 0.9% to $83.38 on Island, having lost 7.2% of its value today.

Shares of

Dell Computer

(DELL) - Get Report

increased 0.5% to $23.63 on

Instinet

, having dropped 6% in the regular session. The boxmaker missed Wall Street's lowered fourth-quarter expectations by a penny, but beat analysts' revenue targets. For the first time, yesterday Dell announced that it would cut 1,700 jobs, or 4% of its total workforce.

Other large-cap tech stocks inched higher in extended trading.

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

rose 1.1% to $34.75 on Instinet,

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

added 0.2% to $57.44 on Instinet and

Cisco

(CSCO) - Get Report

increased 1.1% to $28.56 on the platform.

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. EST.

Confused?

TheStreet.com

explains how the rules change when the sun goes down in Investing Basics: Night Owl, a section devoted to after-hours trading.