Tech Stocks to the Rescue

After weeks of being led lower by financial stocks, tech stocks finally regained the high ground on Thursday and even helped blue chip stocks eke out a small gain.

Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) led the way, rising 2% to a new all-time high of $147.55 ahead of its earnings report next week.

Citigroup’s (NYSE: C) admission that it will incur more losses weighed on financial stocks for much of the day, but BB&T’s (NYSE: BBT) announcement that it will maintain its dividend helped the sector recover in the afternoon, and falling oil prices helped ease inflation fears for a day.

Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM) jumped 7.6% on positive comments from Lehman Brothers, and Silicon Labs (NASDAQ: SLAB), LSI (NYSE: LSI) and Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) were other big gainers in a strong chip sector.

XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ: XMSR) and Sirius (NASDAQ: SIRI) plunged after Goldman Sachs said the two will face growing competition from MP3 players and other devices.

Motorola (NYSE: MOT) led a weak wireless sector lower with a 6% decline. American Technology Research analyst Mark McKechnie said a report of cautious comments made by Foxconn International Holdings, Motorola’s primary contract manufacturer, may have been responsible for the decline, according to the AP.

The Nasdaq rose 32 to 2462, the S&P added 5 to 1342, and the Dow rose 34 to 12,063. Volume rose to 4.8 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.3 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a small margin on the NYSE, while advancers led 16-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 53% on the NYSE, and 73% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 89-204 on the NYSE, and 63-240 on the Nasdaq.

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