Chips Give Stocks a Lift

An upbeat outlook from Analog Devices ignited chip stocks on Thursday, helping the Nasdaq eke out a modest gain despite a blue chip sell-off on worries about Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

ADI shares soared 10% after reporting sales growth of 6% to $692 million, $40 million above Wall Street estimates. The company also said orders and inventories are improving. Citigroup upgraded ADI shares from hold to buy on the news. The chip sector gained more than 2% on the day, and National Semi shares were up 7%.

Google and Microsoft both lagged after Google stepped up competition between the two. Microsoft also got hit by a patent judgment after the bell.

Jupitermedia , publisher of this Web site, lost ground after the company confirmed it is in buyout talks with Getty Images for $9.60 a share.

Moscow CableCom jumped on a buyout offer.

ValueClick and WebMD gained on their quarterly results, while Synopsis slipped on its earnings.

The Nasdaq rose 6 to 2524, the S&P 500 slipped 1 to 1456, and the Dow fell 52 to 12,686. Volume fell to 1.95 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.97 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 19-12 on the NYSE, while advancers led 15-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 39% on the NYSE, and 56% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 286-13 on the NYSE, and 198-24 on the Nasdaq.

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