Job losses at eBay, Microsoft admitting tough times ahead and the prediction that the phone market is going to suffer next year - it's all been a bit gloomy of late.

But IBM has bucked the trend by announcing higher-than-expected preliminary quarterly profits.

And the company has also affirmed a healthy outlook for the rest of the year.

IBM's third quarter income jumped 20% to $2.8 billion and its revenue rose 5% t to $25.3 billion.

Chief exec Samuel Palmisano said in a statement that IBM was confident about its 2008 outlook, "citing a steady base of recurring revenue and profits, and investments for growth in emerging markets", added Reuters.

IBM's shares had plummeted with many other companies' following on from mounting concerns that the tech industry would be hit by the economic turmoil in the major markets.

But on this latest news, they rose 6%.

IBM is scheduled to post its next quarterly results on 16 October.