Techs Stocks Rise Ahead of Oracle

The lowest consumer confidence reading in five years did little to dent enthusiasm for tech stocks on Tuesday, as the sector continued its run ahead of Oracle’s earnings report.

Yahoo led the way higher after Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney said Microsoft will likely raise its offer for the company to $34 a share. Yahoo gained 4.4% to close at $28.73.

Oracle climbed 1.5% ahead of its quarterly results due out after the close on Wednesday. Analysts are looking for earnings of 30 cents a share and a 22% increase in sales from the year-ago quarter to $5.42 billion. Oracle was one of the stronger tech companies heading into the current downturn, so analysts are hopeful the business software maker can at least meet estimates. Oracle beat estimates in its last earnings report in December, but the economy has slowed markedly since then.

3Com rose 3.5% after the company managed to beat Wall Street estimates despite the distraction of a takeover deal that fell through.

VMware gained 5% after Citigroup said worries about competition from Microsoft are overblown.

SiRF plunged 28% after lowering its sales outlook.

The Nasdaq rose 14 to 2341, the S&P gained 3 to 1352, and the Dow slipped 16 to 12,532. Volume declined to 4.08 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.12 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 21-11 margin on the NYSE, and 18-11 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 61% on the NYSE, and 63% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 33-21 on the NYSE, and 35-91 on the Nasdaq.

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