Jubilant investors showered green confetti on stocks tonight after





(MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Report

sprung pleasant surprises on Wall Street after the bell.

The party was a crowded one. The

Nasdaq 100

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, which tends to stay flat in the after hours, recently gained 4.9% to $43.00 on Instinet. Indeed, volume was beefy as over a million shares of both Microsoft and Yahoo were trading by 5 p.m. EDT. Mr. Softee, which

forecast higher fourth-quarter revenue after the close, was lately the most heavily traded outfit on Instinet, gaining 5.9% to $70.45 from its finish of $66.50 on the


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Microsoft, which recently scored a legal victory in the appeals court that allowed it to remain one company, said fourth-quarter sales would be between $6.5 billion to $6.6 billion, compared with its previous guidance of $6.3 billion to $6.5 billion. Mr. Softee also reiterated fourth-quarter earnings expectations, with earnings per share of one cent, including charges, but said it expects a net investment loss of $2.6 billion.

Meanwhile, Internet portal Yahoo!, whose second-quarter earnings

squeaked by analysts' expectations by a penny, recently soared 12.2% to $19.10 on Instinet, and 12.4% to $19.14 on


ECN. Yahoo!, which fell 4.5% to $17.03 ahead of its earnings report, posted second-quarter earnings of $8.7 million, or one cent a share, compared with $69.2 million, or 11 cents a share, in the year ago period. Analysts on

Thomson Financial/First Call

expected the company to break even.

The one-cent edge was enough for the late-day players, who also lifted Yahoo's Internet and media compatriot

AOL Time Warner


up 3.1% to $50.01 on Instinet. AOL Time Warner said earlier today it was cutting about 30 employees, or roughly 3% of the workers, in America Online's interactive marketing division, according to a published report. Web auctioneer


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rose 4.8% to $63.06 on Instinet.

And calling in with its numbers,



posted its second consecutive quarterly operating loss, citing the wobbly conditions of the telecom and semiconductor industries. The mobile phone giant reported a loss of $232 million, or 11 cents a share, excluding items, compared with $551 million, or 25 cents a share, in the same period last year. Still, the stock gained 5.9% to $16.60 on Instinet in the midst of the general bullishness. Rival handset maker


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was up 6.9% to $19.25 on Instinet.

Adding to the action,

Redback Networks


rose 11.0% to $7.25 on Island after it beat the Street's revised loss-per-share estimates for the second-quarter.

The provider of products for broadband and optical networks lost $37 million, or 26 cents a share, excluding charges. Analysts on average lowered their estimates to a loss of 29 cents a share after the company warned in late June that it would lose between 27 cents and 32 cents a share.

Revenue totaled $59.4 million, up from the $48.7 million it raked in during the same period in the prior year, but still well short of the Street's previous projection.

Rival networkers were also up;

Sonus Networks


recently climbed 15.9% to $21.93 on Island, and

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Juniper Networks

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moved up 8.9% to $26.70.

While the night's advancers outdid the decliners, the biotech sector was in the red after

IDEC Pharmaceuticals


admitted its U.S. net sales of Rituxan, a drug for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, grew at a slower pace than anticipated in the second quarter. Its shares fell 21.2% to $48.47 on Island.



, which co-markets Rituxan, also took a hit, dropping 6.4% to $40.00 on Instinet. After the close, Genentech reported that its earnings were in line with the Street's expectations of 19 cents a share.


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was off 1.8% to $56.00 on Instinet.

All in all, the extant earnings cheer lifted many stocks tonight, including tech titans like


(CSCO) - Get Cisco Systems, Inc. Report



(INTC) - Get Intel Corporation (INTC) Report



(ORCL) - Get Oracle Corporation Report


Island ECN offers trading mainly in Nasdaq-listed stocks, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.



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

After the Close Wednesday


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said it expects its fiscal third quarter earnings to beat the Street's projections by a penny. The telecommunications software company said earnings should be 33 cents a share, which is a penny more than the 32-cent consensus estimate compiled by

Thomson Financial/First Call

. The company also said it anticipates revenue of $404 million, which is slightly above the $403 million Wall Street had predicted.


(MDT) - Get Medtronic Plc (MDT) Report

, a medical devices maker, backed the Street's earnings estimate of 27 cents in the fiscal first quarter and $1.21 to $1.23 for fiscal 2002. The company said it expects sales to accelerate in the back half of its fiscal year as the effects of new products starts to weigh in.

Tyco International


, a diversified manufacturer, said it is comfortable that it will meet expectations for the third quarter and likely will meet its full-year projections. The Street is expecting 69 cents a share in the third quarter and $2.78 for the full year.

Wednesday's Economic Data


Forecasts are from


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


Economic Databank.


  • 8:30 a.m.: Initial Jobless Claims for the week ended July 7. Source: Labor Department. Forecast: 398,000. Previous: 399,000.