Techs Can’t Ride CPI Wave

A tame consumer inflation report boosted blue chip stocks on Thursday, but tech stocks were left behind.

The Nasdaq lost half a percent, led by a 3.2% decline in chip stocks . Chip equipment stocks faced the brunt of the selling, after a Kulicke and Soffa conference call raised fears of a slowdown in the sector. The stock plunged 20% on the news.

Blue chips posted gains after the February consumer price index (CPI) clocked in at just a 0.1% gain, raising hopes that the Federal Reserve may soon stop raising interest rates. A rise in oil prices tempered gains.

The Nasdaq lost 12 to 2299, the S&P 500 gained 2 to 1305, and the Dow climbed 43 to 11,253. Volume rose to 2.29 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.39 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 21-10 on the NYSE, while decliners held a slight edge on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 59% on the NYSE, and 29% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 342-27 on the NYSE, and 230-34 on the Nasdaq.

Oracle gained 2% ahead of its earnings report on Monday.

Schwab rose 4% on strong trading volume.

Pacific Internet climbed 6% on news the company is exploring strategic options.

Faro Tech tumbled 18% after delaying its 10-K filing.

Global Crossing slipped on its results, while Cbeyond gained after beating estimates.

Kintera plunged after missing estimates.

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