RealTime IT News

Dell Dodges Stock Sell-off

Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) escaped another dismal day for stocks on Friday, rising 4% even as broad market indexes closed at 12-year lows.

Dell shares gained even as the company's quarterly results missed sales estimates, as cost-cutting efforts helped the company beat profit forecasts.

But there wasn't much in the way of good news for the rest of the market. The S&P closed at its lowest level since former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan uttered the words "irrational exuberance" in December 1996. It's been the worst start to a year ever for the stock market.

Friday's sell-off was sparked by news that the economy contracted at a 6.2% rate in the fourth quarter. The news raised concerns that the latest bailout of Citigroup (NYSE: C) might not be enough and that the government's worst-case scenario for the economy might not be bad enough.

Equipment and software spending plunged at an annualized rate of 28.8 percent in the fourth quarter, the worst showing in 51 years.

Dell wasn't the only tech name to escape the selling. IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), two companies that have held up well in the downturn, both rose more than 3.5% each.

Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM), Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) and Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) were other gainers.

Novell (NASDAQ: NOVL) lost 4% on its results, and Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK) fell nearly 10% on its numbers.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT) and eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) were among the Nasdaq's weaker names, losing more than 5% each.

The Nasdaq lost 13 to 1377, the S&P 500 fell 17 to 735, and the Dow lost 119 to 7062. Volume rose to 9.96 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.54 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 25-12 margin on the NYSE, and 16-11 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 77% on the NYSE, and 61% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 7-471 on the NYSE, and 0-344 on the Nasdaq.