Tech Industry

MARKET CLOSE: Big Blue boosts techs

IBM led technology stocks higher Thursday.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rose 128.93 to 4,184.56. The S&P 500 gained 13.51 to 1,495.47. The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 147.79 to 10,843.87. Inter@ctive Week's @100 Index advanced 61.39 to 5,004.47.

"It's all IBM," said independent market strategist Trudy Latimer told Reuters. "The financials are up, banks are up, credit card companies and insurers are all doing nicely, and many of the technology stocks are okay."

Wall Street was further inspired by comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who tempered his usual warnings about inflation and tight labor markets with upbeat talk on positive trends such as continued productivity growth.

But IBM (NYSE: IBM) led the parade of upbeat earnings reports driving stocks higher. Big Blue rose 8 to 116 3/4 after reporting a strong second half outlook.

Among other tech and communications stocks rising on positive quarterly reports: (Nasdaq: BOUT), up 7 to 35 1/4; Business Objects (Nasdaq: BOBJ), up 11 1/2 to 93 1/2; Level 3 Communications (Nasdaq: LVLT), up 2 1/4 to 83; Viant (Nasdaq: VIAN), up 6 5/16 to 42; Critical Path (Nasdaq: CPTH), up 6 5/8 to 69 7/8; (Nasdaq: PPRO), up 7 5/32 to 49 21/32; and Exodus Communications (Nasdaq: EXDS), up 8 3/8 to 59 3/16.

Beating analyst estimates wasn't enough to keep Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD) afloat. The chipmaker fell 4 13/16 to 85 7/16 despite blowing past the consensus forecast and predicting strong demand for the next several quarters.

Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) slid 10 1/2 to 54 after warning of disappointing earnings for the rest of the year.

Citrix Systems (Nasdaq: CTXS) shares declined 3 7/8 to 18 1/4 Thursday after a pair of analysts downgraded the stock following its second-quarter earnings report.

Other stocks tumbling after quarterly reports included Conexant Systems (Nasdaq: CNXT), down 9 7/8 to 39 1/16 and Excite@Home (Nasdaq: ATHM), down 1 1/4 to 17 3/4.

Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) reported third quarter results in line with estimates and spent much of the day below yesterday's close before managing to end Thursday's regular trading at 63 1/16, up 1/16 for the session.

JDS Uniphase (Nasdaq: JDSU) rose 21 1/64 to 127 49/64 as the most active stock on U.S. markets. Standard & Poors said the optical network components maker would be added to the S&P 500 index.

Sprint (NYSE: FON), which reported higher second quarter operating earnings and strong growth in wireless subscribers, fell 2 3/8 to 42 5/8 after an analyst downgraded the stock because of dimming buyout prospects.

Shares of Apple Computer (Nasdaq: AAPL) rose 2 7/16 to 55 1/8 after the company unveiled a powerful G4 Cube desktop computer, a new spectrum of colored iMac computers, and other new products that drew praise from analysts.

On the IPO front, Airspan Networks (Nasdaq: AIRN), a supplier of wireless communications systems, rose 16 61/54 to 31 61/64 in its debut.

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