RealTime IT News

Techs Rally on Inflation Data

Investors peered into the Labor Department's latest numbers on inflation and liked what they saw about whether interest rates would remain steady. Major indexes soared.

The key data were the PPI numbers, which showed that wholesale prices overall rose by 0.1 percent in July, less than the 0.5 percent rise in June and overall, less than expected. Traders kept hope alive that the Fed would not raise interest rates, even with another key data report, the Consumer Price Index, still due to come out tomorrow.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped by 132.39, about 1.19 percent. The Nasdaq index gained 2.22 percent, or 45.97 to 2,115.01. The S&P finished up 17.36 percent on the day, up by 1.37 percent.

The core PPI, which takes out food and energy costs, actually dropped by 0.3 percent, according to the Labor Department, helped by lower prices on cars and computers.

Shares of AMD  gained a buck on the regular trading day at $20.87 after it unveiled more advanced processors for servers and workstations in its surging Opteron product line today.

Dell  appeared to suffer no punishment after it announced a voluntary recall of more than 4 million laptops yesterday. The company confirmed that it would join the U.S. Consumer Products and Safety Commission (USCPSC) in a voluntary recall of some 4.1 million notebook batteries manufactured between 2004 and 2006.

Shares gained 84 cents, or about 4 percent to close at $22.08 in regular trading, though it had slipped a tad in after hours trading.

Sony , which supplied Dell the batteries, also seemed untouched by the news. Shares closed up by 62 cents at $45.43.

Comverse Technology  shares closed up 33 cents to $20.44 after its CEO, already facing charges involving stock options practices and backdating questions, went on the lam, according to The Wall Street Journal. He is believed to be in Israel.

Shares of Applied Materials  finished up by 34 cents, or 2.21 percent, to $15.88 after the chip supplier said its profit rose by 39 percent compared to its same quarter last year.

Net income came in at $512 million (33 cents per share), compared to $369 million (23 cents per share) during the same, year-ago period.

Revenue surged by 56 percent to $2.54 billion. But analysts poring over the outlook for the fourth quarter saw signs of slowing. Applied Materials said revenue expectations for the final quarter would be flat.

The chip supplier also announced that its CFO, Nancy Handel, would retire after more than 21 years with the company. Her transition date is effective on January 5th of next year. She took over the CFO position in 2004.

Paul Shread is on vacation. Technical analysis will return next week.