Could it be ... a good day for tech?
Chip companies and computermakers were rising. And, these days, any day that's not a loser seems like news in the tech arena.
Just days after Ashok Kumar of
U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray
stock price could fall into the teens, the chipmaker was up 4% to $25.56. It was being helped by news that
would start using some of Intel's processors in new Gateway servers.
Intel was giving a boost to the
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index
, which was jumping 5.1%. Like Gateway, other computer companies were on the rise. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker Index
, which tracks the sector, was gaining 3.6%.
Wireless tech company
signed a large deal with business-software maker
. Both companies were jumping on the news, with Qualcomm up 5.1% to $56.75 and Oracle gaining 5.2% to $15.13.
was getting a lift after it entered into a $16 billion agreement for
to supply it with memory components, liquid-crystal displays, monitors and optical disk drives. CEO Michael Dell helped, too, when he reiterated yesterday that his company is on track to meet financial expectations announced when Dell reported earnings results last month.
What the market gives to one group, it usually takes away from another. So nontech companies were taking it on the chin. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange Forest & Paper Products Index
, for example, was losing steam. It was off 2.7% as investors took some profits. This area has been a bit of a haven of late as investors looked for safer places to put their money in turbulent times.
Much of the recent roiling in the market was in anticipation of and reaction to the Federal Reserve's decision to cut interest rates by half a percentage point. Banks and brokers typically are helped by rate cuts, because they tend to encourage more borrowing and trading. These activities bring income to interest-rate sensitive financial companies. Today, however, brokers were climbing only modestly, because some key names in the sector reported lower profits compared to recent quarters. Plus, the rate cut wasn't as deep as investors had hoped.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
each reported profit drops. Morgan Stanley said its first-quarter profit
fell 30% from the slump in market activity, while Bear Stearns reported first-quarter earnings that
American Stock Exchange Broker/Dealer Index
was lately near flat. The
Philadelphia Stock Exchange/KBW Bank Index
was falling 0.8%.