JORDAN ROBERTSON

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) â¿¿ Investors were hoping for a sign from Intel Corp. that the bottom didn't fall out of the consumer personal computer market in the third quarter. The company showed Tuesday that the market held up reasonably well and should stay steady into the all-important holiday shopping season.

Intel shares rose slightly after the world's biggest maker of microprocessors, the "brains" of PCs, reported that its net income leaped 59 percent and revenue rose 18 percent. The results topped analysts' expectations and showed that economic jitters didn't ruin consumers' appetite for new computers during the back-to-school crush.

Intel's fourth-quarter forecast suggests that demand is expected to stay solid.

It was what many anxious investors had hoped to see, since the fall quarter was widely considered a bust for PC makers, and some feared the winter period would also be bleak.

Intel shares rose 19 cents, about 1 percent, to $19.96 in extended trading. Before the release of results, they closed the regular trading session up 21 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $19.77.

Intel is a bellwether because its chips are inside 80 percent of the world's PCs, and the company has unparalleled insight into whether the largest computer makers are preparing for robust sales, or bracing for bumps in the road. And as the first major technology company to report third-quarter earnings, Intel is a harbinger of what Wall Street can expect from other computer companies as they report in the coming weeks.

Intel said after the market closed that it earned $2.96 billion, or 52 cents per share, compared with $1.86 billion, or 33 cents per share, a year ago. Analysts expected 50 cents per share, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.

Revenue rose 18 percent to $11.10 billion, from $9.39 billion. Analysts expected $10.99 billion.

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