Dell, Chips Lead Tech Stocks Higher

Chip sector upgrades and a big gain in shares of Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) helped the Nasdaq to a small gain on Wednesday.

Dell was up 3.3 percent on no apparent news, but Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) and Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) led the chip sector to solid gains after Kaufman Bros. upgraded shares of the two companies on optimism that they will benefit from an improving PC market.

SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK), Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT) and Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM) were other chip sector gainers, the latter rising on news of a settlement of an investor lawsuit over backdated stock options.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) lost ground on the day, but Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) rebounded to close up 1.2 percent.

Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) jumped 3.5 percent after Broadpoint AmTech raised its price target and estimates on the HDD maker.

The Nasdaq added 2 to 2291, the S&P 500 was unchanged at 1126, and the Dow rose 3 to 10,548. Volume declined to 2.28 billion shares on the NYSE, and rose to 1.31 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 20-16 margin on the NYSE, while advancers held a 14-12 edge on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 33 percent on the NYSE, and 54 percent on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 161-31 on the NYSE, and 96-15 on the Nasdaq.

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