Tech's Recovery Casts Intel Warning as Trailing, Not Leading, Indicator - TheStreet

Is it as

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

goes, so go the nation's tech stocks? Or have they gone elsewhere already?

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    The bellwether tech stock's

    Thursday-night preannouncement walloped markets

    Friday morning, pushing the

    Nasdaq Composite Index

    5.6% south by the opening bell. But with tech stocks cutting their losses as the day progresses, investors are apparently deciding that Intel's ills don't presage new rounds of pain in the wider market.

    By midday, the Nasdaq had slugged its way back to a 2.9% deficit, and

    TheStreet.com

    Internet Sector index had recovered from being down 4.6% to a 1.5% deficit. Intel, meanwhile, was still in the hole, down 20% after a down-25% low.

    Ice Cream?

    Ashok Ahuja of

    Icor

    , a Westport, Conn., firm that operates a technology hedge fund, sees Intel's revenue shortfall more as an echo of past bad news rather than a harbinger of future problems in the tech sector.

    "Intel is getting its correction just like

    Microsoft

    (MSFT) - Get Report

    got it five months back," says Ahuja, a shareholder of Microsoft but not of Intel.

    Intel's problem, he says, is that growth in the computing market is taking place in the high-end server space and the portable, palm-size computing market. And while Intel has alliances to bring out products in both of these segments, these efforts are still in their early stages.

    "I think it's more of an Intel- and PC-specific problem," he says.

    Stocks that have already gotten punctured, he says, are well-situated, such as

    Qualcomm

    (QCOM) - Get Report

    , which he has a large position in, and Microsoft. "Microsoft doesn't go down much more," he says. Around midday, the software giant's shares were off 4%.

    Once positive numbers for the third quarter start coming out -- from companies at the high end of the market such as

    Sun Microsystems

    (SUNW) - Get Report

    and

    EMC

    (EMC)

    -- "you'll be off to the races again," he says. He doesn't own either stock.

    But until that starts happening in mid-October, forecasts Ahuja, "the overall damper in the market remains."