Dell Drops After Stocks Soar

Stocks soared Monday ahead of some key earnings reports, but Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) delivered some sobering news after the bell.

Dell shares slipped about 2% in after-hours trading after the company said it sees demand stabilizing and predicted a slight sequential upturn in sales for its quarter that ends later this month, but a decline in gross margins weighed on the stock.

Dell attributed the margin decline to “higher component costs, a competitive pricing environment, and an unfavorable mix of product and business-segment demand.”

And while demand is stabilizing, Dell said demand “varies significantly by customer segment and geography.”

Dell’s comments came head of its analyst day on Tuesday — and ahead of earnings reports from Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Nokia (NYSE: NOK) this week.

Stocks soared ahead of those reports and earnings news from major financial companies, as investors continue to hope that the worst of the economic downturn has passed.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and VMware (NYSE: VMW) soared 5% each, and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) gained 2.8% on upbeat analyst comments ahead of its results on July 21. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), which will reports its results on July 23, rose 3.8%.

The Nasdaq jumped 37 to 1793, the S&P 500 surged 22 to 901, and the Dow soared 185 to 8331. Volume rose to 4.83 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.95 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 30-7 margin on the NYSE, and 19-7 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 91% on the NYSE, and 84% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 21-49 on the NYSE, and 20-30 on the Nasdaq.

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