HP, Techs Lead Big Rally

Shares of HP rose nearly 5% Wednesday after the company reported better than expected results and suggested that it will soon announce a restructuring.

HP CFO Robert Wayman said at the JP Morgan technology conference Wednesday that the company isn’t planning any major changes in strategy, but is just looking to boost the profitability of its current operations.

HP’s big rally was just the start of the good news.

Merrill Lynch upgraded the tech sector, saying that valuations have improved and that technology spending could pick up in the second half of the year.

Coupled with a big drop in oil prices and a tame consumer inflation report, stocks soared in a broad-based rally.

The Nasdaq rose 26 to 2030, the S&P 500 climbed 11 to 1185, and the Dow surged 132 to 10,464. Volume rose to 2.27 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 25-7 on the NYSE, and 22-8 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 82% on the NYSE, and 78% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 130-30 on the NYSE, and 97-50 on the Nasdaq.

Applied Materials and Red Envelope slipped on warnings.

Photronics soared 25% on its results.

ClickCommerce surged on a U.S. Patent Office deal.

Intervideo gained 7% on an Xbox deal with Microsoft .

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