Cisco Gives Techs a Lift

News that Cisco raised guidance for not one but two quarters gave tech stocks a nice boost on Wednesday, but blue chips were torn between strong fourth-quarter productivity gains and hawkish comments from a Federal Reserve official.

Cisco gained 3% on the day, but finished 2% off its high, paring its gains as blue chips gave up theirs. The Nasdaq finished near its highs for the day, however.

Nortel surged 9% on plans to eliminate 2,900 jobs. Alcatel Lucent gained on reports that it may soon follow suit.

Keane jumped 17% on news that it will be acquired in a private equity deal.

Aspen soared 26% on its results. Other earnings gainers included Brooks , SCM , Multi-Fineline and Intevac .

Brightpoint , Diodes and Travelzoo slipped on their earnings reports.

After the close, EMC shares surged on news that the company will spin off 10% of its VMware division in an IPO.

The Nasdaq surged 19 to 2490, the S&P 500 gained 2 to 1450, and the Dow edged half a point higher to 12,666. Volume rose to 2.64 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.27 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 18-13 on the NYSE, and 18-11 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 52% on the NYSE, and 74% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 421-8 on the NYSE, and 206-40 on the Nasdaq.

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