Palm, Motorola Weigh on Tech Stocks

Weakness in the wireless sector weighed on the Nasdaq Thursday, with Motorola falling on a warning and Palm slumping on speculation that it won’t be acquired by Motorola.

Motorola shares lost more than 6% on the news, while Palm shares lost nearly 9% after traders interpreted Motorola’s lack of mention of the company as evidence that it won’t be acquiring Palm, rumors that had driven Palm shares a third higher in recent trading sessions.

After the close, Palm announced its own quarterly results, beating Wall Street estimates but issuing mixed guidance. The company also had no comment on merger speculation concerning Motorola or any other potential suitor. Still, the results were good enough for a 2% gain in late trading for Palm shares.

Also after the close, Jabil fell 5% on a warning.

Stocks were mixed during the day, as traders digested Wednesday’s massive gains and a decline in leading economic indicators and weekly jobless claims.

RF Micro lost 5% on Motorola’s results, and Tessco dropped 10% on its outlook.

Oracle gained on an attack on rival SAP .

Nortel fell 6% on a $1 billion convertible debt offering.

Rackable soared 12% on takeover speculation.

Intuit fell on its sales outlook.

RCM and FortuNet gained on their results.

The Nasdaq lost 4 to 2451, the S&P 500 slipped half a point to 1434, and the Dow rose 13 to 12,461. Volume declined to 3.13 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.99 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancing issues led by a 16-15 margin on the NYSE, and 15-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 45% on the NYSE, and 39% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 220-16 on the NYSE, and 154-33 on the Nasdaq.

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