Intel Upgrade Sends Chip Stocks Soaring

An analyst’s upgrade of Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) sent chip stocks surging by more than 5% on Monday, but the rest of the tech sector struggled ahead of Cisco’s (NASDAQ: CSCO) quarterly results.

Intel gained 5.4% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock on hopes for improved server and business IT spending. AMD (NYSE: AMD) fared even better, surging 11.5%, and the entire Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (PHI: SOX) rose 5.5%.

Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) rose nearly 4% each, but Cisco, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) were left out of a rally that saw the S&P 500 move into positive territory for the year on hopes for economic recovery.

Cisco will report its quarterly results Wednesday night.

Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) and Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) also rose on upgrades, but Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) lost 2.8% on a UBS downgrade.

Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) gained 2.8% on a deal with HP (NYSE: HPQ) and the company’s plans for the consumer market.

Liberty Media (NASDAQ: LINTA) surged on plans to combine and spin-off Liberty Entertainment and DirecTV (NYSE: DTV).

Better than expected pending home sales and construction spending gave the broader market hope, as did optimism that further bank losses will prove manageable. The rally began overnight in Asia on better than expected growth in China.

The Nasdaq surged 44 to 1763, the S&P 500 gained 29 to 907, and the Dow rose 214 to 8426. Volume declined to 9.37 billion shares on the NYSE, and rose to 3 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 21-16 margin on the NYSE, while decliners held a slight edge on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 95% on the NYSE, and 78% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 34-83 on the NYSE, and 33-17 on the Nasdaq.

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