Novellus Issues Mixed Outlook

Shares of Novellus fell in late trading Tuesday after the company issued mixed guidance for the fourth quarter.

In its mid-quarter update, the chip equipment maker said it expects earnings of 15-20 cents a share on sales of $305-$315 million. The earnings figure compared favorably to the 16 cents analysts were looking for, but the sales guidance was below $315.7 million forecasts. Novellus also hiked its orders guidance, saying it expects a 5-10% sequential rise in new orders.

Shares of Novellus were down 2.5% in after-hours trading.

The broader market ended modestly lower in rocky trading, as an early rally on falling oil prices and strong durable orders, new home sales and consumer confidence reports gave way to profit-taking. Weighing on stocks were a downgrade of Google and negative reports out of AMD and Wal-Mart .

The Nasdaq lost 6 to 2232, the S&P 500 was unchanged at 1257, and the Dow lost 2 to 10,888. Volume rose to 2.24 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.8 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 19-13 on the NYSE, and 15-14 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 52% on the NYSE, and 57% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 123-98 on the NYSE, and 102-55 on the Nasdaq.

Shares of Google tumbled 5% on a valuation downgrade from Merrill Lynch. The stock had gained 40% since its October earnings report, and Merrill said it sees negative publicity rising as the company moves into other areas.

AMD lost 3% after the company predicted a fourth-quarter operating loss in its memory chip unit.

Sycamore jumped 7% after reporting earnings of 2 cents a share, and Western Digital gained 2% after raising guidance.

TiVo fell 10% on a warning, and Nvidia shed 6% on valuation downgrades.

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