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Tech Industry

Comdex fails to push tech stocks

At the close of the show, high-tech stocks by and large didn't shine any brighter, get any fatter, or even move beyond their usual ranges.

There was glitz, gourmet food, and product demos galore.

But at the close of Comdex today, high-tech stocks by and large didn't shine any brighter, get any fatter, or even move beyond their pre-Comdex ranges.

The technology-laden Nasdaq climbed a slight 2.3 percent between the show's start on Sunday and its close today. Nasdaq ended the day at 1620.75, up 37.24 points over last Friday.

"I don't think Comdex had any impact on stock price and movement," said Bruce Lupatkin, research director for Hambrecht & Quist. "And if there was some movement, it was probably more due to an earnings announcement by the company."

Lupatkin added that turmoil in Asia had a far more significant impact on the markets than Comdex, and pointed out that any movement seen in tech stocks may have been the result of that activity.

But Michael Murphy, editor of the California Technology Stock Letter, said Comdex may have helped some stocks that otherwise might have been negatively affected by the economic upheavals in Asia.

"Comdex may have tempered some stocks," he said.

He added that numerous companies at Comdex indicated that they were receiving strong product demand in the United States and Europe, and that Asia had little affect on their financial performances.

While tech stocks in general may not have gotten a big boost from Comdex, a few companies nevertheless saw their stocks spike during the event.

3Dlabs (TDDDF), for example, posted a 20 percent gain by the end of the week. The company's stock ended the day at 25-1/4 today, up from 21 at last Friday's close.

At Comdex last Monday, 3Dlabs announced new chipsets that accelerate 3D graphics.

Iomega (IOM) also saw its shares rise during Comdex week, by 10 percent, closing at 31-13/16 today, up from 28-11/16 last Friday.

Iomega last Monday announced at Comdex that its Zip drive would play a key role in the flagship PC line for NEC.

"Iomega's stock performed strong all week based on what they were saying," Murphy said.