Nokia, CheckFree Send Tech Shares Higher

Better than expected earnings from Nokia and the acquisition of CheckFree helped boost tech shares Thursday, while solid results from Disney sent the broader market higher.

Nokia’s shares soared more than 8% to a five-year high after the company’s earnings and margins blew past analysts’ estimates. CheckFree, meanwhile, saw its shares surge more than 23% on a buyout agreement with Fiserv .

CA was another winner Thursday, gaining 3% after posting an 8% sales increase and raising guidance, while Quantum , Sirenza , O2Micro , Smith Micro and Napster also gained on their results.

But Nortel , Gateway , Sohu and Entegris all traded lower on their earnings reports.

Traders’ newfound bullishness will get another test Friday morning, when Friday’s monthly jobs report will be scrutinized for signs of economic weakness. Economists believe the economy added 135,000 jobs last month. Another test for tech stocks Friday will come from Network Appliance , which tumbled 20% in late trading Thursday after releasing its quarterly results.

The Nasdaq rose 22 to 2575, the S&P 500 climbed 6 to 1472, and the Dow rose 100 to 13,463. Volume declined to 4.26 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.53 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancing issues led by a 21-11 margin on the NYSE, and 17-13 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 60% on the NYSE, and 66% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 50-221 on the NYSE, and 65-375 on the Nasdaq.

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