Chip Stocks Lead, But Apple Left Behind

The chip sector posted strong gains Tuesday as economic optimism continued to grow, but Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) shares were left behind on a late-day drop.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT), Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) and AMD (NYSE: AMD) were some of the beneficiaries of positive comments from a Baird analyst and an upbeat outlook from Altera (NASDAQ: ALTR).

TI also announced that it will provide a mid-quarter financial update next week.

A pair of positive manufacturing reports from China and the U.S. also helped the stock market.

But Apple gave up all its gains in the last 30 minutes of trading, closing down 1.5 percent despite a 1.5 percent gain in the Nasdaq. The cause of the drop appeared to be a report from a Thomas Weisel analyst that the iPhone could be headed for T-Mobile instead of Verizon when Apple’s exclusive deal with AT&T expires next year.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) hit another new all-time high, but eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) lost 1.9 percent.

Fairchild Semi (NYSE: FCS) and RF Micro (NASDAQ: RFMD) were other strong stocks, up 8 percent each.

Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM) rose on news of a networking acquisition.

The Nasdaq surged 31 to 2175, the S&P 500 gained 13 to 1108, and the Dow rose 126 to 10,471. Volume rose to 4.25 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.2 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 30-7 margin on the NYSE, and 19-8 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 83 percent on the NYSE, and 78 percent on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 314-52 on the NYSE, and 92-27 on the Nasdaq.

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