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Cisco says it has $1.4 billion backlog

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Stocks are rebounding from a 3-session losing streak as Fiber Optic (FOP.X) 39.56 +8%, Networking (NWX.X) 123 +5.5% and Wireless Telecom (YLS.X) 49.41 +6.8% shows gains after Tom Chambers, CEO of networking equipment giant Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) $12.81 +5.3% told investors at a UBS Warburg conference that the company's backlog is above the $1.4 billion it reported back on September 9.

That news has helped bolster gains in the NASDAQ-100 Index (NDX.X) 1,002 +3.03% as it edges back above the 1,000 level and has its tracking stock in the QQQ gaining 59 cents to $24.90.

Semiconductors as depicted by the Semiconductor Index (SOX.X) 296.40 +4.7% are recovery from yesterday's declines and struggling to get back above the 300 level that now serves near- term resistance. High trade in the early going has been 299.50. Sector bellwethers have Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) $17.95 +3.51% gaining back yesterday's losses after Merrill Lynch's Joe Osha said that channel checks indicated Intel intended to implement a series of price cuts. Semiconductor equipment giant Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) $15.13 +3.84% is matching Inel's gains and bouncing from yesterday's test of its shorter-term 21-day SMA of $14.45.

Shares of Dow component IBM (NYSE:IBM) $79.07 +2.27% sees gains ahead of its annual analyst meeting on Wednesday. Merrill Lynch believes Big Blue should indicate it's on track for the quarter. "IBM was aggressive in endorsing double-digit sequential revenue growth in the fourth quarter, but we think it's achievable," Merrill said. The brokerage maintained it "buy" rating on the stock with a price target of $88.

Sector action is to the upside with weakness found in the Gold/Silver Index (XAU.X) 66.25 -2.11% after sector bellwether Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) $23.88 -6.24% falls after saying it earned $24.0 million, or 6 cents a share, up from $18.8 million, or 10 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. The earnings per share figure fell because the number of shares outstanding jumped to 403.0 million from 196.1 million.

Newmont's gold output in the third quarter was 2.1 million ounces at a cash cost of $189 an ounce.

Third-quarter revenue rose to $728.3 million from $421.1 million a year earlier.

Newmont said last month it would restate 12 quarters of earnings to correct its accounting of gold contracts dating back to 1999. The restatement follows a review of Newmont's books by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, which replaced Arthur Andersen LLP as Newmont's auditor in May 2002.

Jeff Bailey

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