RealTime IT News

Techs Dodge Downtrend

Some strong earnings reports from chip companies helped the Nasdaq dodge a blue chip rout on Wednesday.

The Nasdaq added a tenth of a point on a day that the Dow tumbled 82 points, thanks to positive earnings news from Novellus , Semtech , Fairchild Semi and Microchip that sent the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index 1.2% higher on the day.

Shares of Novellus rose 2.5% after investors looked past weak sales guidance to focus on better than expected earnings and new orders. Semtech soared 19% after beating estimates and reaffirming guidance, and Fairchild and Microchip gained after reaffirming guidance.

The broader market, however, fell sharply after strong GDP and Midwest manufacturing reports and a Federal Reserve economic summary raised inflation fears. Retail sales data Thursday and monthly jobs numbers Friday will also be watched closely.

The Nasdaq finished unchanged at 2232, the S&P 500 lost 8 to 1249, and the Dow tumbled 82 to 10,805. Volume rose to 2.36 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.93 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a few issues on the NYSE, while advancers led 18-13 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 64% on the NYSE, and 42% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 104-79 on the NYSE, and 125-47 on the Nasdaq.

Research in Motion slumped 6% on news that it is running out of options in its patent dispute with NTP.

Entrust jumped 13% on a deal with the Swedish government.

McData lost 2.4% on in-line results and guidance.