Chip stocks are going through a rough patch, but other tech stocks were on the rebound in Thursday trading.
Strong earnings from Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report sent the stock more than 6% higher on Thursday, and several other tech stocks followed suit in recovering steep losses from Wednesday. The NYSE FANG+ index was up 6.3% Thursday. The tech-heavy NASDAQ also got a boost from positive earnings from both Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report and Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report . Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report and Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report are both due to report their earnings on Thursday after market close.
TheStreet will be live blogging Amazon's earnings on Thursday after the market close. Please check our home page then for more details.
Chip stocks haven't fared quite as well this week: The SOX index, which tracks semiconductor stocks, is down 14% since the beginning of October -- including a plunge of more the 6% alongside broader market jitters on Wednesday -- though it recovered some of those losses on Thursday, climbing 2.6%. Weak guidance from AMD didn't do much to reassure investors in the sector, with (AMD) - Get Report 's stock plummeting more than 14% since it guided for $1.45 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter, below the $1.6 billion in to consensus estimates.
Because chips are so vital to a range of products and services, semiconductors are often interpreted a "canary in the coal mine" for the broader market.
The ongoing trade conflict with China is a significant factor driving weakness in chip stocks, and that may continue as tariffs, currently at 10% on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, are expected to increase to 25% on January 1, 2019 if the U.S. and China can't reach a deal.
Though it's too soon to speculate on how the trade conflict may affect specific companies, B. Riley FBR's Craig Ellis said that should the conflict escalate, the reaction from chipmakers would be more "monolithic" than company-specific.
"What I feel comfortable saying is: If the tariffs broaden, and if rates increase as has been discussed, then it would be hard for any of my companies to be immune," Ellis told TheStreet in October.