Chip Stocks Rocket on Signs of Growth

Chip stocks led a big market rally on Thursday after Gartner raised its outlook for both the chip and chip equipment markets.

The entire chip sector gained 3.8 percent on the news, with AMD (NYSE: AMD), Lam Research (NASDAQ: LRCX), Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM), Novellus (NASDAQ: NVLS), Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) and SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK) faring even better.

Better than expected growth in China and Australia and a successful Spanish bond auction that eased European debt fears sent the rest of the market soaring, with major stock market indexes up 2.8 percent on the day.

Among Nasdaq most actives, Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL), Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) and Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) outpaced the Nasdaq’s 2.77 percent gain, while Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) lagged behind.

After the close, Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) lowered its first-quarter earnings by a nickel a share to set aside $100 million for a possible settlement in a five-year-old SEC investigation into the company’s business relationship with Intel.

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