EMC, AT&T Send Tech Stocks Higher

After a week of being led higher by financial stocks, the technology sector reclaimed the lead on Wednesday, rising 1% on strong results from EMC (NYSE: EMC) and AT&T (NYSE: T).

EMC surged nearly 14% on a surprisingly strong quarter even as its VMware (NYSE: VMW) subsidiary slipped 2.6% on on another revenue warning.

AT&T gained 4% on its results — and boosted Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) shares on strong iPhone demand.

The solid results helped ease fears of a tech spending slowdown after a number of high-profile disappointments from tech bellwethers.

The broader market edged higher as Congress neared a housing bailout and oil prices fell once again, but weak results from Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) capped financial stocks after a week of torrid gains. E*Trade (NASDAQ: ETFC) fell 16% after posting a loss.

But all news from the tech sector wasn’t good. Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) fell nearly 5% on a lackluster quarter, and Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM), Anadigics (NASDAQ: ANAD) and ADC Telecom (NASDAQ: ADCT) were other earnings losers.

NII Holdings (NASDAQ: NIHD) jumped 10.7% on its earnings report.

The after-hours session was a busy one, with Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) gaining on blowout results, and Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) rising as investors speculated what the company’s earnings postponement might mean. Amazon shares initially shot higher on much better than expected results, than gave back much of those gains after the company’s guidance wasn’t as robust as the earnings report.

The Nasdaq rose 22 to 2325, the S&P gained 5 to 1282, and the Dow rose 30 to 11,632. Volume rose to 6.44 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.73 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 21-12 margin on the NYSE, and 16-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 67% on the NYSE, and 64% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 54-104 on the NYSE, and 79-83 on the Nasdaq.

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