Intel Leads Tech Stocks Higher

Results from Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) that weren’t as bad as feared helped boost stocks on Friday, even as bank shares remained under pressure.

Intel rose 3.4% after the company’s current quarter revenue expectation of around $7 billion was only modestly below analysts’ forecasts of $7.3 billion in sales.

Intel is just the start of what could be a tough earnings season for tech investors. Next week will see reports from IBM (NYSE: IBM), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and AMD (NYSE: AMD), which announced layoffs today.

Apple slipped a little more than 1% as pundits continued to debate if the company has been forthright enough with investors, while competitors Palm (NASDAQ: PALM) and Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) gained once again.

Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) surged 8% on news that Circuit City will be liquidated.

HP (NYSE: HPQ) and Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) were notably weak, off more than 2.5% each on worries about PC demand.

The broader market managed to end higher on a day that saw the major indexes up and down more than 1% at various points, as fears about the health of Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) sent the banking index to a new low. Late in the day, the Wall Street Journal reported that government officials may be working on another bailout plan, this one to create government-run ‘bad banks’ of toxic assets.

The Nasdaq rose 17 to 1529, the S&P 500 added 6 to 850, and the Dow gained 68 to 8281. Volume declined to 6.89 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.31 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 25-12 margin on the NYSE, and 15-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 64% on the NYSE, and 67% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 13-87 on the NYSE, and 7-76 on the Nasdaq.

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