The

Nasdaq Composite Index

shook off a morning dip into negative territory and by day's end had managed to advance a healthy 1.3% and close at a record high.

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

aided the Nasdaq's advance as investors focused on the company's positive outlook for the second half of the year rather than on the fact it came up short of Wall Street's expectations when it reported earnings yesterday after the close. Intel was the most active stock on the Nasdaq with 44.7 million shares changing hands. It was up 2 11/16 to 68.

The gains in stocks were attributed in part to market-friendly economic data and firm earnings news.

While the tech sector -- notably semiconductor stocks -- surged, the blue-chip

Dow Jones Industrial Average

wasn't able to participate and ended in the red.

On the wholesale inflation front, the

Labor Department

reported the overall

Producer Price Index

fell 0.1%, while the core PPI, which excludes food and energy prices, fell 0.2%. Economists were expecting a gain of 0.1% for both measures, according to a

Reuters

survey.

In other economic news,

retail sales

rose 0.1%, while retail sales excluding autos rose 0.4%.

On the

New York Stock Exchange

, advancers beat decliners 1,527 to 1,397 on 749.4 million shares. On the

Nasdaq Stock Market

, winners beat losers 2,272 to 1,726 on 1.06 billion shares.

On the NYSE, 88 issues set new 52-week highs while 42 touched new lows. On the Nasdaq, 208 issues set new 52-week highs while new lows totaled 27.

On the Big Board,

Compaq

(CPQ)

was most active, with 23 million shares changing hands. It was up 1 13/16, or 6.9%, to 27 15/16.

Market data above are preliminary. Updated numbers and analysis will follow in the Market Roundup

Earlier...

3:00 p.m.: Nasdaq Near Session Highs as Semiconductors Soar

The tech-heavy

Nasdaq Composite Index

was around its session highs going into the final hour of trading, sporting a solid advance as semiconductor stocks surged.

1:58 p.m.: Stocks Mixed as Tech Sector Jumps

Major market averages were mixed this afternoon as the technology sector -- led by semiconductor stocks -- was showing the most strength.

1:13 p.m.: Midday Musings: Market Muddles While Weighing Many Factors

11:58 a.m.: Dow, S&P Slip Into Negative Territory

Major market averages -- after spending a chunk of the morning slightly higher -- have turned mixed.

10:54 a.m.: Benign Inflation Data Boost Stocks

Stocks advanced early on thanks to benign inflation data, while semiconductor stocks were surging.

10:03 a.m.: Stocks Rise Slightly After Friendly Economic Data

Stocks rose slightly thanks to market-friendly economic data as players digested another round of earnings reports.