Intel, SanDisk Lead Tech Stocks Higher

SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK) and Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) led the way on Tuesday as the Nasdaq eked out a small gain.

SanDisk shares were up 4 percent on a U.S. International Trade Commission ruling that could give the company another chance to protect patents it claims other companies have infringed.

Intel gained 1.8 percent on comments from a Raymond James analyst that the chip giant’s 2010 prospects are promising.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) added 0.6 percent on a ThinkEquity upgrade.

But the rest of the tech sector didn’t get very far. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) ended the day flat, while Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) and Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) closed lower.

Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) lost 1.4 percent ahead of its quarterly earnings report due out after the market close on Thursday. Analysts are looking for earnings of 23 cents a share from Dell on a 23.5 percent decline in sales to $12.57 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT) and Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) lost 1.7 percent each.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) slipped after Sony (NYSE: SNE) unveiled a Kindle competitor.

The broader market edged higher on news that President Obama plans to reappoint Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to another term, and better than expected consumer sentiment and housing numbers.

The Nasdaq rose 6 to 2024, the S&P 500 gained 2 to 1028, and the Dow added 30 to 9539. Volume declined to 5.77 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.96 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 22-14 margin on the NYSE, and 14-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 59 percent on the NYSE, and 53 percent on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 142-63 on the NYSE, and 78-10 on the Nasdaq.

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