RealTime IT News

Chip Stocks Lead Comeback from Market Plunge

Stocks clawed back from another day of steep losses Friday, with chip stocks leading the market back into positive territory by the close.

The major indexes were down more than 1.5 percent at their lows, but recovered all their losses and more in the final two hours of trading.

Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM) led the chip sector with a 6 percent gain after the SEC dropped options backdating charges against company figures.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT) gained more than 3 percent, while Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), AMD (NYSE: AMD), Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) rose more than 2 percent each.

AMAT will be among the tech companies reporting quarterly results later this month. Others include HP (NYSE: HPQ), Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) and Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD).

Shares of NetSuite (NYSE: N) and Brooks Automation (NASDAQ: BRKS) tumbled after the companies reported losses, while Phase Forward (NASDAQ: PFWD) lost 28 percent after slashing its earnings forecast.

The stock market has suffered heavy losses in the last few weeks on worries about European credit concerns and persistent job losses in the U.S. Today the U.S. government reported a loss of 20,000 jobs for January, worse than the 15,000 gain economists expected.