Skip to main content

There was no real news provoking today's semiconductor rally -- and that may be just the reason for it.

"There's an absence of bad news" today, said Doug Myers, the vice president of equity trading at

IJL Wachovia

. "There's just nothing out there that looks like it's going to derail" a rally, so individual investors and money managers are buying in, he said.


Dow Jones U.S. Semiconductor Index

rallied 5.3% by midday, a bit stronger than the tech-heavy

Nasdaq 100 Index

, which was up 4.6% as tech stocks gain ground. The

Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index

, known as the


, had picked up 5%.

"Right now the market's trying to tell you that the worst is over," Myers said.

Applied Micro Circuits


and competitor



both soared 15.1% by about midday.

PMC-Sierra was slightly helped by the announcement earlier today that it would develop chips for advanced metropolitan "ethernet" networks. But there was no such additional news to raise

Vitesse Semiconductor


11.9% to $34.67. "There's an absence of sellers in the marketplace today," said Myers, indicating that the buyer-driven market typically boosts prices. The lack of any earnings news that could potentially hinder the markets is also providing for upward movement in the sector, he indicated.

Semiconductors have "the greatest upside potential of the tech stocks, so that's why the money tends to flow into them first," the trader said. Of course, money tends to flow out of them first when the market is slipping, he noted.

On the shorter end of today's gain spectrum were

Advanced Micro Devices


, still up a strong 5.5% to $31.66, while chipmaking powerhouse



had managed a 4% gain to $31.40.

Micron Technology


, weighted down by the only negative news in the sector, was up 2.9% to $45.39. A note on Micron from

Credit Suisse First Boston

this morning said that "until we begin to see substantive and consistent signs of a pick-up in end-market demand, we believe the stock will likely be limited to a trading range."

Texas Instruments


, meanwhile, had risen 5.7%, a gain of $2.11, to $39.08.

The semi stocks are "up a pretty good amount here," Myers said. "I think they're starting to stretch their legs a bit."