Tech stocks were back on the rise, recovering from a two-day slump despite bleak unemployment numbers released on Friday. The Nasdaq gained 28 points, or 1.8%, to 1637 in recent trading. Shares of Yahoo! ( YHOO) took a deep plunge on news that Microsoft ( YHOO) Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said he does not plan to make another bid for the company. Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang earlier this week said he was interested in reopening talks with Ballmer after Google ( GOOG) pulled out of an online search agreement with Yahoo!. Investors clung to the hope that Ballmer would return to the negotiating table, but his comments yesterday only reinforced their earlier pessimism. Yahoo! shares were down 13.9% to $12.02 on Friday. Microsoft shares were up 1.8% to $21.27. Sprint Nextel's ( S) shares plummeted 12.8% to $3.21 after the company fell short of Wall Street's third-quarter estimates . The company posted a loss of $326 million, or 11 cents a share, compared with a profit of $64 million, or 2 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding items, Sprint's EPS break-even, but missed analysts' estimates for a profit of 3 cents. Revenue for Sprint's struggling wireless division sank 13% from the same period a year ago and its total count of wireless customers shrank to 50.5 million from 54 million a year ago. Nvidia ( NVDA) shares were soaring 15.1% to $8.77, a day after the company reported a 74% drop in third-quarter profit but remained positive about its outlook for next year. The chipmaker said it has moved to a more cost-efficient process for chip production and expects to deliver growth in 2009.
Priceline ( PCLN) shares climbed 15.7% to $54.46 after the online travel site beat Wall Street expectations for third-quarter results. The company posted third-quarter earnings of $88 million, or $1.81 per share, down 16% a year earlier, helped by a tax benefit. Excluding one-time costs, the company would have earned $2.39 a share, well above the $2.10 a share expected by analysts. Shares of Hutchinson Technology ( HTCH) slipped 20.4% to $4.84 after posting an earnings miss in the fourth quarter. The company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $105.5 million, or $4.60 a share, including a valuation allowance of $4.03 a share against its deferred tax assets, and a charge of 37 cents a share for the impairment of long-term investments. Excluding those charges, the company would have lost 20 cents a share -- far more than the 13-cent loss that Wall Street had expected. Revenue for the fourth quarter came in at $164.3 million, missing Street estimates of $167.3 million.