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After the Close, a Series of Lowered Outlooks

There was good news during the day, but several companies provided very poor guidance after the close.

So here’s a great test of the markets: can stocks stabilize on bad news?

Bad news after the close:

--many companies reducing Q4, 2009 estimates

--weak tech reports from Texas Instruments, Sandisk, and Sun Micro

The good news:

--credit markets improving

--less signs of liquidation

--buying interest perks up

--stocks (and traders!) calmer

Texas Instruments reported earnings and gross margins below expectations and guided lower on both revenues and earnings. Wireless is the weak link here, the CEO said he saw continued weakness in chip sales through the first quarter of 2009. New orders were "declining rapidly" in all areas. Down 6 percent after the close.

Sandisk, which makes data storage products based on flash memory, reported a loss ($0.59) well beyond expectations (loss of $0.27) as price cuts appear to be cutting into margins. Revenue guidance for the fourth quarter is substantially below estimates. They are making substantial cuts in manufacturing investment. The company said they were still open to negotiations with Samsung.

More from CNBC:

Sun Micro guided revenue for their first quarter slightly below expectations ($2.95-$3.05 b vs. expectations of $3.14 b). Down 10 percent after the close.

American Express beat expectationsand is trading up about 6 percent after the close. Mastercard and Visa are both trading up in sympathy. But don't get too excited: AmEx was at a 10-year low on Thursday, so this is just a small bounce from a dramatically oversold level. Amex saw a further slowing in October and said the difficult economic environment will extend into 2009.

Questions? Comments? tradertalk@cnbc.com