eBay, Apple Beat the Street

eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) posted better than expected quarterly results late Wednesday, the latest signs of hope for the tech sector after a tough first quarter.

eBay shares were up 5% in after-hours trading after the company reported an 8% decline in sales to $2.02 billion, better than the $1.94 billion analysts expected. The company’s pro forma earnings also beat forecasts. The company’s second quarter sales guidance was potentially a little light, but the report was generally better than expected.

Apple beat on the top and bottom line with its results, benefiting from strong iPhone and iPod sales. Mac sales were a little lighter than Wall Street analysts expected. The company’s second-quarter guidance was weaker than forecast — but that’s typical for the company, and its shares gained 2% after hours.

Also after the close, VMware (NYSE: VMW) shares tumbled 10% after the company lowered its sales outlook. And Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM) surged on reports that it may be near a patent settlement with Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM).

Blue chip stocks traded lower during the day on weakness in bank stocks, but tech stocks ended the day modestly higher on mixed results from AMD (NYSE: AMD) and Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) and a strong quarter from SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK).

Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) was up 7% on hopes for a turnaround, while AT&T (NYSE: T) edged higher on strong iPhone demand.

Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) gained 7% on a Goldman Sachs upgrade.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), EMC (NYSE: EMC), Juniper (NASDAQ: JNPR) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) will report their quarterly results on Thursday.

The Nasdaq added 2 to 1646, the S&P 500 fell 6 to 843, and the Dow lost 83 to 7886. Volume declined to 8.89 billion shares on the NYSE, and rose to 2.72 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 20-17 margin on the NYSE, and 14-13 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 43% on the NYSE, and 58% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 13-60 on the NYSE, and 21-23 on the Nasdaq.

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