Intel Sends Stocks Higher

After spending the last couple of years dampening investor expectations, Intel unexpectedly raised them on Friday.

The chip giant reportedly told German financial daily Handelsblatt that it sees strong demand in China and is expecting a rebound in the battered chip industry this year. The company also said its wireless Centrino chip is meeting expectations.

CNBC quoted Intel President Paul Otellini as saying, “The past year has been so bad that the semiconductor sector can only improve this year.”

Intel rose 3.8%, carrying the stock market to strong gains across the board.

The Nasdaq surged 30 to 1520, the S&P 500 rose 13 to 933, and the Dow climbed 113 to 8604. Volume declined to 1.3 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.56 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 24-8 on the NYSE, and 21-9 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 78% on the NYSE, and 78% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 222-3 on the NYSE, and 148-19 on the Nasdaq.

NVIDIA also helped the chip sector’s 3.8% gain, soaring 33% on results that weren’t as bad as feared. The graphics chip maker also raised forward guidance.

Gateway and Overture posted strong gains on positive analyst meetings, but Lucent slipped 2.7% on its analyst meeting.

Dell rose 3% at the start of a 38-city tour.

Sprint PCS tacked on 0.5% on a deal with Yahoo , which slipped 0.2%.

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