Dell Shakes Up Techs

Dell shook up the tech sector Friday with its announcement to use AMD chips and to continue its aggressive pricing strategy.

Dell shares rose 2.6% after the company met lowered expectations and issued guidance that was slightly lower than Wall Street was expecting. The news that Dell’s fortunes have stabilized helped the Nasdaq end its eight-day losing streak, the index’s longest since 1994.

Dell also announced plans to use AMD chips in its high-end servers, the first time Dell has used AMD chips. The news sent AMD shares soaring 11.5%, while Intel shares lost 1.5%.

Dell also announced a number of initiatives to return to its former glory after repeatedly lowering guidance since last fall, but analysts on the company’s conference call were skeptical of Dell’s ability to return to its former margins and growth rate. One even asked if Dell would consider an indirect sales model, an idea the company rejected.

The moves will likely intensify Dell’s battle with HP , which has been gaining share at Dell’s expense in recent quarters. HP shares lost 1.5% on Friday.

The broader market finished higher in volatile trading following seven days of steep losses. Comments from Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig in the Wall Street Journal helped ease fears that the Federal Reserve will go too far with its interest rate hikes.

The Nasdaq gained 13 to 2193, the S&P 500 rose 5 to 1267, and the Dow tacked on 11 to 11,140. Volume soared to 2.98 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.57 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 19-13 on the NYSE, and 17-13 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 62% on the NYSE, and 61% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 24-159 on the NYSE, and 55-142 on the Nasdaq.

Marvell , Supertex and Brocade rose on better than expected results.

Autodesk slipped on its results.

SafeNet plunged on a stock option probe.

Amazon gained 4% on a plan to print low demand and out of print books.

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