Tech Stocks Lead Market Comeback

Stocks started the day sharply lower Thursday on growing credit market fears, but staged a dramatic comeback in the afternoon after Standard & Poors said banks may be nearing the end of subprime mortgage write-downs.

The near collapse of a Carlyle Group fund and weak retail sales sent stocks skidding in the early going, but stocks began to recover late morning when the S&P report hit. Even gold at $1,000 an ounce and oil at $110 a barrel couldn’t stop stocks from rallying after that.

The Nasdaq went from a 2% loss to a 1% gain by the close, and the Dow and S&P also staged dramatic comebacks.

Yahoo, down 3.3%, continued to slump on fears that Microsoft could lower its offer for the company if its quarterly results disappoint Wall Street next month.

Nvidia, Research In Motion and Marvell paced tech gains.

Sigma Designs plunged 16% after missing estimates, and Virgin Mobile tumbled 41% on a weak outlook.

Take Two gained 3% on a hostile takeover offer from Electronic Arts.

GSI Commerce rose 8% on an upgrade.

The Nasdaq rose 19 to 2263, the S&P climbed 6 to 1315, and the Dow gained 35 to 12,145. Volume rose to 5.05 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.51 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 19-13 margin on the NYSE, and 17-11 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 60% on the NYSE, and 65% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 39-214 on the NYSE, and 45-283 on the Nasdaq.

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