Dell's on Deck
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Tech stocks edged higher Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested to Congress that more interest rate cuts are on the way despite growing inflation concerns.
Cisco and Apple led the Nasdaq higher, gaining more than 3% each. Cisco gained 3.7% on upgrades from Wells Fargo and Citigroup, while Apple rose 3.2% on news that the company will release developer tools for the iPhone.
But Nortel and Autodesk had a tough day, plunging on their results. Nortel reported declining revenues and rising losses and also announced layoffs.
Dell gained 1.4% ahead of its results due out after the close on Thursday. Analysts are looking for 13% sales growth to $16.27 billion and earnings of 36 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial. Analysts expect that growth rate to slow to just 6.3% this year.
Microsoft slipped 0.4% on news of a $1.35 billion antitrust fine from the EU.
Netflix, S1 and Sonic Solutions surged on their results, and Research In Motion, Juniper Networks, Baidu.com and Broadcom also posted solid gains.
Google finally rebounded, rising 1.9% despite growth concerns.
After the close, Salesforce.com soared 9% on its results.
The Nasdaq gained 8 to 2353, the S&P slipped 1 to 1380, and the Dow rose 9 to 12,694. Volume declined to 3.89 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.22 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 18-15 margin on the NYSE, and 15-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 51% on the NYSE, and 60% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 65-75 on the NYSE, and 65-89 on the Nasdaq.