Skip to main content

Tech Stocks Still Moving

Futures point to more strength after Hewlett-Packard's sparkling quarter.

Tech stocks maintained their momentum ahead of the bell Friday as solid earnings at


(HPQ) - Get Free Report

fired up the bulls.

Index futures recently showed the

S&P 500

trading about a point above fair value, while the Nasdaq 100 was set for a 4-point gain. The 10-year Treasury bond was down 4/32 in price to yield 4.48%, while the dollar rose against the yen and euro.

Tech stocks led broad gains on Thursday, with the

Nasdaq Composite

surging 1.5% to a four-year high.


(GOOG) - Get Free Report

first trip above $400 a share brought buyers into a host of Internet and software names, while slowing order growth at

Applied Materials

(AMAT) - Get Free Report

was largely ignored.

Overseas markets rallied in the wake of New York's strong close. In Europe, London's FTSE 100 was recently up 1% to 5515 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.1% to 5156. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei rose 1.5% overnight to 14,623, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.6% to 14,883.

Oil, which fell to a four-month low Thursday after the government reported another gain in natural gas inventories, was recently down another 11 cents to $56.23 in electronic Nymex trading. Gasoline futures were unchanged at $1.46 a gallon.

Shares of Hewlett-Packard are up about 6% after the hardware giant reported a 7% jump in fourth-quarter sales and adjusted earnings that beat estimates by a nickel. In the quarter, H-P earned $1.5 billion, or 51 cents a share, excluding a $1.1 billion restructuring charge, compared with $1.2 billion, or 41 cents a share, last year.

General Electric

(GE) - Get Free Report

shares also rose after the company struck a deal to sell its insurance operations to Swiss Re for $6.9 billion in stock and cash. GE also bumped up earnings guidance for 2006, raised its dividend and added $10 billion to an existing buyback authorization.

At the


(GPS) - Get Free Report

, a weak third quarter and reduced full-year guidance sent the stock down 11% in premarket trading. Gap, which has been struggling with bad fashion choices, expects to earn $1.12 to $1.17 a share this year, well below the Wall Street consensus of $1.25 a share.


(SBUX) - Get Free Report

added 2% early Friday after saying earnings rose 21% in its fourth quarter thanks to gains in sales and profit margins. The company reiterated its 2006 earnings guidance for 63 cents to 65 cents a share, including a 9-cent expense for stock options. Analysts are calling for 74 cents a share without the costs.


(ADSK) - Get Free Report

was punished despite reporting a 28% jump in third-quarter earnings that beat estimates before items. The problem was fourth-quarter guidance that suggested the software maker will struggle to hit Wall Street's consensus forecast of 36 cents a share.


(DIS) - Get Free Report

reported a 27% decline in fourth-quarter earnings that reflected an operating loss in its movie studio division. Adjusted earnings beat estimates by 2 cents a share but revenue was about $130 million light.