Tech Stocks Soar on Bailout Plans

Tech stocks soared Monday after the government unveiled its long-awaited plan to relieve banks of toxic assets that are clogging the financial system.

All the major stock indexes rose 7% on the day, and the gains were evenly distributed across the tech sector, with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), IBM (NYSE: IBM), HP (NYSE: HPQ) and VMware (NYSE: VMW) gaining 6% or more each.

Chip stocks were especially strong, with AMD (NYSE: AMD), SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK) and Micron (NYSE: MU) scoring double-digit percentage gains after ThinkEquity became the latest analyst firm to say that the worst may be priced in to chip stocks.

Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) was one of the few stocks left out of the rally, slipping 2% as investors continued to wait for news of a merger deal with IBM (NYSE: IBM).

Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT), Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA), NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP), Juniper (NASDAQ: JNPR), Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) and Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM) were just some of the names besting the Nasdaq’s 6.8% gain.

The major indexes are having their best month since October 2002, helped in part by a number of better than expected economic reports that have raised hopes that the economy may be near a bottom. Better than expected existing home sales today also helped fuel the gains.

The Nasdaq soared 98 to 1555, the S&P 500 rose 54 to 823, and the Dow surged 497 to 7775. Volume rose to 8.83 billion shares on the NYSE, but declined to 2.26 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 34-4 margin on the NYSE, and 23-4 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 97% on the NYSE, and 94% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 14-76 on the NYSE, and 12-26 on the Nasdaq.

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