A Big Day for VoIP

Speculative fever hit the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) sector for the first time in months on Monday.

Starting the day off was a positive cover story on VoIP in Barron’s, followed by Lucent’s $295 million acquisition of VoIP switch start-up Telica.

The result was the biggest day in months for stocks like 8X8 and Delta Three , which gained 14% and 24%, respectively.

After a four-month downtrend, any spark is a good sign for tech stocks. Now let’s see if it catches.

The broader market finished the day mixed, as rising oil prices continued to weigh on blue chips.

The Nasdaq climbed 10 to 1922, the S&P 500 gained 1 to 1095, and the Dow slipped 8 to 9958. Volume declined to 1.23 billion shares on the NYSE, but rose to 1.42 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 23-9 on the NYSE, and 19-11 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 68% on the NYSE, and 67% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 31-27 on the NYSE, and 60-64 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Novell met estimates.

During the day, Applied Micro surged 10% on a positive write-up in Barron’s.

Red Hat gained 4% on a front-page Wall Street Journal article on the Linux challenge to Microsoft’s desktop dominance. Microsoft slipped on the WSJ piece and a setback in its Lindows case.

Yahoo and Research in Motion notched new 52-week highs.

palmOne rose 11% after winning a patent case.

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