Updated from 4:03 p.m. EST

Stocks ended lower Wednesday as a surprise positive preannouncement from Cisco ( CSCO) couldn't make up for lackluster results from other companies and more concerns over accounting practices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended with a loss of 32.04 points, or 0.3%, at 9653.39. The Nasdaq dropped 25.79 points, or 1.4%, to 1812.73, and the S&P 500 was off 6.51 points, or 0.6%, at 1083.51.

Before the open, Cisco said it expected to top consensus earnings and revenue estimates after an executive characterized the quarter favorably in a memo that was mistakenly distributed to employees. Analysts had been expecting the company to earn 5 cents a share in the fiscal second quarter on revenue of $4.5 billion. The company still plans to issue its full earnings release later Wednesday. Shares of Cisco finished up 11 cents, or 0.6%, to $18.61.

Another piece of positive news with little impact was a preliminary report from the Labor Department showing fourth-quarter productivity rose 3.5%, stronger than the consensus estimate of a 3% gain. Unit labor costs fell 1.1%.

Tyco International ( TYC) added $2.82, or 12.2%, to $25.92 on word that at least four potential bidders had emerged for its Tyco Capital unit. Reports said the former CIT Group could fetch anywhere from $7 billion to $12 billion if it were sold, which would be a departure from earlier plans to spin the unit off to shareholders.

Computer Associates ( CA) said it would delay plans to complete a $1 billion debt offering after Moody's said it might cut the company's debt rating. The software maker also said it expects a fourth-quarter operating loss of 4 cents to 5 cents a share on revenue of $770 million. CA's shares dropped $4.25, or 13.6%, to $27.12.

Calpine's ( CPN) shares were among the most active on the Big Board, falling $1.95, or 22.3%, to $6.80. The company confirmed an earlier report that it has received an informal request for information from the enforcement division of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said the report dealt with its disclosure, but added that its actions have been appropriate.

PepsiCo ( PEP) posted a fourth-quarter profit of 42 cents a share, matching Wall Street's estimates. The soft drink giant reaffirmed guidance for 2002, saying it expects 13% to 14% earnings growth, but the stock fell $1.71, or 3.4%, to $49.10.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded Motorola ( MOT) to outperform from neutral, citing the launch of new handset technology, a recovery in the semiconductor industry, and strength in government sales. Shares of Motorola ticked up 12 cents, or 1%, to $12.05. Elsewhere, Salomon Smith Barney upgraded Cox Communications ( COX) to a buy rating from an outperform, but the stock lost 2.6%.

Nextel ( NXTL) made a strong push upward following its subscriber growth forecast on Tuesday. The stock climbed 97 cents, or 19.2%, to $6.02.

Two Irish companies were making headlines. Elan ( ELN) was in the news again after ING Barings downgraded the company's shares to sell from buy and set a price target of $9.50 on the stock. Despite the move, shares of the Dublin-based drugmaker added a penny to $14. Allied Irish Banks ( AIB) suspended its currency trading operations after a trader in its Baltimore office entered phony currency hedges that left the bank exposed to $750 million in losses. The trader has since disappeared. The stock plummeted 16% to $19.77.

Gold prices jumped up this morning, breaking above the $300 mark for the first time in two years. Overseas, stocks were lower with London's FTSE 100 losing 0.4% to 5074 and Germany's Xetra Dax down 2.7% at 4804. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.6% to 9421, and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.2% to close at 10,592.

U.S. Treasury issues were mostly lower. Around 4 p.m. EST, the 10-year note was down 8/32 to 100 18/32, yielding 4.92%.

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