Tech stocks closed out the week on an up note, paced by what good news was out there and seemingly Teflon-coated to whatever could be construed as bad news.
Even PC makers, whose reports have foreshadowed the tech slump, went away for the weekend happy.
The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Computer Box Maker's Index
rose 2.7%, paced by
, which closed up $2.19, or 7%, to $33.44.
, which warned of a bad miss on its numbers Tuesday, ended the day up 5.2%.
, which had its financial projections cut by
this morning, was up only 0.8%. The exception was
, which was dogged by a rumor over accounting irregularities, according to a
report. An intraday note from Merrill Lynch said the rumor was unfounded, but Sun ended the day down $3.84, or 9%, to $38.91.
warning about its fourth-quarter revenue due to slackening PC demand turned into downgrades for chief competitor
Advanced Micro Devices
and DRAM manufacturer
, whose chips are used in PCs. Both had their ratings reduced by
AMD was downgraded to market perform from buy. Micron also was reduced to market perform from buy. As with Intel's downgrades and earnings revision, the notes had little effect on the shares -- they closed up with every other stock in the SOX, which ended up 12% on the day. Intel finished up 5.2%, AMD was up 10.8% and Micron was up 13.3%.
Whatever demand problems might be afflicting PCs and semiconductors are not affecting storage stocks, wrote
analyst Laura Conigliaro this morning in a research note. She wrote that Emulex, which makes hardware and software for storage networks, was finding demand running ahead of expectations. Emulex reported yesterday that its revenue for the quarter was running higher than expected. Salomon Smith Barney issued a note raising earnings expectations for the company for the coming quarter. Emulex closed up $24.64, or 15.8%, to $179.91.
Storage industry heavyweight
also ended the week on a positive note, even with news of a much-anticipated competing product from EMC. But most of the fear had been priced into Network's stock during the month of November, when Network App's share price fell 55%. And Network made some news of its own when it announced this week that software giant
selected its products for internal storage use. Network App was up 15.7% for the day.
A positive report from yesterday buoyed optical-component maker
. A report from
analyst Seth Spalding said the company "presents the most compelling investment opportunity in the optical systems sector" and the company was upgraded by
to buy from add.
The market blew off a report that Ciena acknowledged the
Internal Revenue Service
is examining its 1997 and 1998 tax returns, although it doesn't expect an adverse financial impact from the investigation, according to
. Ciena led opticals skyward, closing up $18.45, or 19.3%, to $114.06.
Even the battered Internet stocks had their day.
TheStreet.com Internet Index
was up 9.2%, led by e-tailer Amazon, which closed up $2.06, or 9.6%, to $23.44. Amazon's outlook was boosted by
Credit Suisse First Boston
analyst Jamie Kiggen, who wrote in a note today that he worked undercover for a time at an Amazon distribution center in Delaware to gauge the company's holiday season for himself. Kiggen's conclusion: Amazon is on track to make its $1 billion revenue estimate for the quarter.
One of the few disappointing performers was Yahoo!, which ended the day flat at $34.91, on volume that nearly doubled its average. Yahoo! has been dogged by news of deteriorating Internet advertising, possibly slower-than-expected holiday e-commerce and even the rumor that CEO Tim Koogle was leaving.