Rambus, Chip Stocks Lead Market Rebound

Stocks bounced back from Wednesday’s drubbing today, led higher by a 14% gain in shares of Rambus (NASDAQ: RMBS).

Rambus rose after the FTC dropped the rest of its 7-year-old antitrust case against the company after losing a recent Supreme Court appeal. The FTC had argued that Rambus improperly withheld information about patents it holds from the JEDEC standards group.

The rest of the chip sector (PHI: SOX) gained more than 3%, with Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) up 2.7% in a delayed reaction to the company’s upbeat outlook.

AMD (NYSE: AMD) lost ground, but Micron (NYSE: MU) and SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK) were big gainers, and Atmel (NASDAQ: ATML) surged 17% on takeover speculation. Novellus (NASDAQ: NVLS) gained on a Bank of America-Merrill Lynch upgrade.

Helping the mood was a Wall Street Journal report that companies have finally stopped slashing IT budgets, good news ahead of earnings reports from HP (NYSE: HPQ) next week and Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) the week after.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM), Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) and eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) were some of the day’s other winners.

DigitalGlobe (NYSE: DGI) gained 14% in its IPO.

CA (NASDAQ: CA) jumped 5.5% after beating earnings estimates, while Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR) and CommVault (NASDAQ: CVLT) fell on their results.

The Nasdaq rose 25 to 1689, the S&P 500 gained 9 to 893, and the Dow rose 46 to 8331. Volume declined to 6.13 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.22 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 26-10 margin on the NYSE, and 18-8 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 79% on the NYSE, and 75% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 6-43 on the NYSE, and 11-18 on the Nasdaq.

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