HP, Cisco Weigh on Tech Stocks

Blue chip stocks extended their rally for a third day Tuesday on the government’s latest financial rescue efforts, but tech stocks were left behind on worries about HP (NYSE: HPQ) and Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO).

Cisco fell 6% on news that the company plans a five-day year-end shutdown to save money, while HP also lost 6% on worries that the company’s outlook for next year is too optimistic.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) was another drag on the Nasdaq, shedding 3.4% after RBC Capital lowered 2009 estimates on the software giant. The firm also downgraded Ariba (NASDAQ: ARBA) and Omniture (NASDAQ: OMTR).

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) was a standout, though, surging 10% on reports that the company continues to gain search market share. The Wall Street Journal also reported that Google is reducing contract workers but has no plans for employee layoffs.

Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) fell 8% on worries about potential competition from Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and a prediction of lower cell phone sales.

Analog Devices (NYSE: ADI) lost 6.7% on its outlook.

But the Dow and S&P fared better on news of two new government programs totaling $800 billion aimed at shoring up markets for consumer loans and mortgages.

The Nasdaq lost 7 to 1464, the S&P gained 5 to 857, and the Dow rose 36 to 8479. Volume declined to 7.79 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.52 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 25-12 margin on the NYSE, and 16-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 65% on the NYSE, and 39% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 7-125 on the NYSE, and 6-180 on the Nasdaq.

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