RealTime IT News

Investors Bid Up eBay

Tech stocks outperformed their blue-chip counterparts Wednesday on better than expected results from Intel and Yahoo, and eBay kept the party going after the close.

eBay shares were already up 5% on news of a deal between Skype and MySpace, then added another 5% after the close when the company reported quarterly results that blew past analysts' expectations.

eBay's pro forma earnings of 41 cents a share were 8 cents better than expected, after after factoring out a big writedown for the Skype acquisition. Sales rose 30% to $1.89 billion, $60 million better than forecast. EBay also raised current quarter sales guidance to $2.1-$2.15 billion, ahead of $2.06 billion expectations.

CEO Meg Whitman said that "eBay International, PayPal Merchant Services, StubHub, classifieds and our advertising businesses all performed above our expectations."

Intel and Yahoo gained 5% and 8%, respectively, on their better than expected results, sending the Nasdaq to a 1% gain, but weak hardware sales at IBM sent its shares 3.2% lower, weighing on the Dow. A 3.6% decline in United Technologies also weighed on the blue chips.

Intel's earnings sent the chip sector 1.8% higher, with Applied Materials and Nvidia just two of the winners.

WebMD tumbled 13% on a sales warning, while Sonus was up 11% on a Piper Jaffray upgrade.

AMD, Nokia and Google will report quarterly results on Thursday, and all three traded higher ahead of those reports. Nokia will be in focus after a 24% plunge in Ericsson shares Tuesday on guidance that was well below analysts' expectations.

The Nasdaq rose 28 to 2792, the S&P added 2 to 1541, and the Dow lost 20 to 13,892. Volume rose to 3.56 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.4 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 16-15 margin on the NYSE, and 15-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 49% on the NYSE, and 70% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 126-126 on the NYSE, and 123-133 on the Nasdaq.