Techs Lead the Way Again

Tech stocks continued to find favor with investors on Thursday. The Nasdaq hit a six-year high, and the Dow closed at a new all-time high on strength in technology components Microsoft , Intel and HP .

Microsoft surged 3.5% on bullish comments from JP Morgan, while Intel gained 2% after Deutsche Bank said it expects the chip giant to beat estimates next week.

Falling prices and jobless claims helped ease fears that the economy could be in for a hard landing. Retail sales reports are due out Friday morning, with analysts expecting a 0.5% gain in December sales excluding autos. And next week, earnings season swings into high gear, with Intel, Apple and IBM among the names reporting.

Apple took a break from a two-day 13% surge after Cisco sued over Apple’s use of the iPhone name.

SAP tumbled 10% on a warning, which also weighed on Oracle shares.

Infosys , C-Cor , Sapient and SupportSoft gained on their earnings news, while Amdocs fell on its outlook.

The Nasdaq rose 25 to 2484, the S&P 500 gained 9 to 1423, and the Dow climbed 72 to 12,514. Volume rose to 2.91 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.45 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 22-9 on the NYSE, and 20-10 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 71% on the NYSE, and 67% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 263-24 on the NYSE, and 151-42 on the Nasdaq.

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