Nokia, Chip Stocks Buoy Techs

Strong guidance from Nokia sent tech stocks higher on Thursday, and the chip sector soared 5% despite warnings from Texas Instruments , National Semi and KLA-Tencor .

Nokia surged 8% after saying it expects third-quarter earnings of 14-16 cents a share, above 11-cent analyst estimates. Revenues of $8.28-$8.4 billion would exceed $8.04 billion forecasts. The company cited “strong volume growth” in the global device market, but some analysts viewed the good news as more of a company-specific rebound from Nokia’s recent market-share losses.

Investors snapped up shares of chip stocks after warnings from Texas Instruments, KLA-Tencor and National Semi weren’t as bad as feared. TXN and NSM gained more than 10% each, and KLAC rose 4%. Chip stocks have slumped 35% this year, hit by an inventory correction and a broader economic slowdown.

Telecom stocks got a boost after Corning reaffirmed guidance. Corning surged 9%, and shares of JDS Uniphase gained 8%.

Blue chips ended the day lower on rising oil and import prices, although an unexpected drop in weekly jobless claims provided support.

The Nasdaq gained 19 to 1869, the S&P 500 rose 2 to 1118, and the Dow declined 24 to 10,289. Volume rose to 1.37 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.67 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 20-12 on the NYSE, and 19-10 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 62% on the NYSE, and 81% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 142-10 on the NYSE, and 83-37 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, PeopleSoft surged on a court ruling that Oracle can proceed with its takeover attempt.

During the day, Volterra , kforce , Ulticom and Comverse surged on earnings news.

eBookers soared 23% on news that it is in talks to be acquired.

CoSine Communications fell 8% after the company said it plans to lay off most of its employees after exploring strategic alternatives.

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