RealTime IT News

Investors Look To Intel

Investors will be looking to Intel Thursday night to calm a stock market battered in recent days by rising oil prices and inflation fears.

Intel's mid-quarter update — which will occur on the fifth anniversary of the Nasdaq's all-time high — follows recent downbeat earnings news from Texas Instruments , Micron and Novellus that has shaken investor faith in the chip sector.

Analysts are hoping Intel can revive the sector with an upbeat outlook. JP Morgan said Wednesday it expects Intel to raise its guidance to the top of the range the company gave in January. Analysts are expecting first-quarter earnings of 28 cents a share on $9.15 billion in revenues from the chip giant.

Analysts will also be watching gross margins and inventory levels for signs that the year-long chip inventory bulge is nearing an end.

Stocks were battered Wednesday on rising oil prices and a Federal Reserve report that showed rising inflation pressures.

The Nasdaq slumped 12 to 2061, the S&P 500 lost 12 to 1207, and the Dow fell 107 to 10,805. Volume rose to 1.7 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.9 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 27-6 on the NYSE, and 20-10 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 77% on the NYSE, and 65% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 125-33 on the NYSE, and 81-71 on the Nasdaq.

Retek soared 24% on hopes that a takeover offer from Oracle will spark a bidding war with SAP .

Cisco climbed late in the day on comments by CEO John Chambers that the company plans to pay a dividend at some point and that business optimism is rising.

Xilinx slipped despite raising guidance, while WebMD soared 20% on its results.

Commtech surged 16% on its results.

China.com fell 8% on its results.

Overstock lost 9% after Piper Jaffray lowered its earnings estimates on the company.