AMD, Baidu Lead Stocks Ahead of Intel’s Results

AMD (NYSE: AMD) paced a strong chip sector a day ahead of Intel’s (NASDAQ: INTC) quarterly earnings report, while Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) shares soared on uncertainty about Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) plans for China.

After leading the chip sector lower yesterday on an analyst’s warning that the sector could be due to correct, AMD shares rebounded nearly 6 percent ahead of its rival’s results, also benefiting from news that its GlobalFoundries spinoff has merged operations with Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing. SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK) was another big gainer in the sector, up 3.8 percent.

Analysts expect Intel to report a 23.5 percent sales increase to $10.16 billion and earnings of 30 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters, but Bank of America warned that estimates on the chip giant may be too optimistic.

Baidu, meanwhile, soared nearly 14 percent after Google threatened to pull out of China.

Xyratex (NASDAQ: XRTX) soared 12 percent after raising guidance, while NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP), Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) and IAC (NASDAQ: IACI) rose on upgrades.

VMware (NYSE: VMW) gained after acquiring Yahoo’s (NASDAQ: YHOO) Zimbra unit.

Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) was another winner, up 3.7 percent.

The Nasdaq rose 25 to 2307, the S&P 500 gained 9 to 1145, and the Dow rose 53 to 10,680. Volume declined to 4.17 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.34 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 27-10 margin on the NYSE, and 18-8 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 67 percent on the NYSE, and 78 percent on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 283-40 on the NYSE, and 121-15 on the Nasdaq.

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