Some positive goings-on in the chip and networking space could support the


Wednesday morning despite


(ORCL) - Get Report

weak outlook.


(CSCO) - Get Report

said it was authorizing a new, $5 billion share repurchase, while

Advanced Micro

(AMD) - Get Report

had its shares upgraded and the semiconductor equipment book-to-bill came in higher than expected.

Cisco, whose last repurchase authorization covered $8 billion of shares, said buying back its own stock while maintaining a strong cash balance "is in the best interest of our shareholders." As of Jan. 25, 2003, the company had repurchased and retired 317 million common shares for $4.4 billion since starting the program.

Elsewhere, Advanced Micro was upgraded to neutral from underperform at CSFB on grounds that its flash memory business should be strong in 2003. CSFB views high-density flash memory, which is used in cell phones and other devices, as the best sector in the chip universe, near term.

Meanwhile, the semiconductor-equipment book-to-bill ratio rose to 0.99 last month, reflecting a 5.8% jump in new orders to $781.7 million. The ratio, which shows that equipment makers received $99 in new orders for every $100 of goods sold, is at its highest level in six months, according to Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International, which compiles it.