Stocks Rise Ahead of Dell’s Results

A stronger than expected durable goods report and another day of gains in battered mortgage stocks had investors in a good mood on Wednesday.

Technology investors are hoping the good mood carries over into Thursday night, when Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) will report its quarterly results.

Investors and analysts will be looking for signs that the company is continuing its turnaround. Analysts are looking for an 8% increase in sales to $15.95 billion and earnings of 36 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial.

Dell shares have gained 40% since setting a low of $18.13 in April and closed today at $25.63, up 1.8%. The company’s shares have benefited from a blow-out April quarter, and investors will be watching closely to see if the tech bellwether can continue to weather the economic headwinds.

The major indexes gained 0.8% Wednesday on a 1.3% jump in durable orders last month and another day of double-digit percentage gains in Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) and Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM).

But Sun (NASDAQ: JAVA) fell 7% on an IDC report that said the company is losing server market share.

SI International (NASDAQ: SINT) soared 36% on a buyout offer.

Applied Signal (NASDAQ: APSG) jumped 7% on its results.

The Nasdaq rose 20 to 2382, the S&P gained 10 to 1281, and the Dow rose 89 to 11,502. Volume declined to 3.55 billion shares on the NYSE, and rose to 1.58 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 26-7 margin on the NYSE, and 18-9 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 79% on the NYSE, and 72% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 19-65 on the NYSE, and 42-87 on the Nasdaq.

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