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Ahead of the Bell: IBM numbers to show tech mood

October 17, 2011

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SAN FRANCISCO—IBM Corp.'s third quarter earnings, which the company is scheduled to report after the market close on Monday, will offer a glimpse into the dynamics of the corporate technology-buying world at an uncertain time for the world's economies.

Investors will scrutinize IBM's new contract signings. IBM's ability to bring in new deals has been questioned as that figure dropped in the first quarter, but rose in the second quarter. IBM stresses that its overall backlog of services deals matters more than the quarterly fluctuations in new deal signings.

IBM, the world's largest technology-services company, is expected to have earned $3.21 per share on $26.1 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.