Chip Stocks Soar On Analyst Upgrades

Chip stocks soared 8% Thursday on analyst upgrades of Intel and Micron, leading the broader market higher.

The ISDEX surged 8 to 194, and the Nasdaq bolted 65 to 2044. The S&P 500 gained 10 to 1165, and the Dow climbed 98 to 10,172. Volume rose to 1.41 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.19 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 21 to 10 on the NYSE, and 22 to 13 on the Nasdaq.

Intel surged more than 7% after JP Morgan urged investors to buy the stock ahead of the company’s January 15 earnings report. AMD and Micron also surged on positive analyst comments.

EMC , up 12%, also benefited from positive analyst comments. rose 10% after preannouncing better than expected results.

Peregrine plunged on an earnings warning.

VeriSign slipped on earnings worries.

Some technical comments on the market: Note: To see the charts in the text email newsletter, click on the story link at the top of the newsletter.

The Nasdaq (first chart) broke through 2000 resistance today and kept running. That could set up a test of the previous 2065 top; if it can break through that, 2080-2100 (2093) is next. First support is 2030-2035, and then 2000-2010. With NYSE internals unimpressive and GE lagging, today was primarily a technology rally. The Dow (second chart) closed right under its July-August closing lows of 10,174-10,175, a critical resistance area and the level where rallies have ended in the last month. If the Dow can clear 10,220, it could have room to run. First support is 10,140-10,150 and then 10,080. The S&P (third chart) closed right under its 200-day moving average at 1166. If it can clear 1173-1180, that will be another index with some upside room. Support is 1160-1162, and then 1146-1148 and 1140. Finally, it’s time to take a look at the weekly charts for all three indexes (see charts 4-6 below); a lot of important weekly moving averages around these levels.

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