Tech Showing Signs of Life (LLTC, TQNT, KFT, BIDU, GOOG, NKTR)
Stocks posted decent gains following yesterday’s sell-off, with tech showing some signs of life. There wasn’t a lot of earnings-related news today, but the small amount of news that tickled in was generally positive. Next week will be more exciting with a number of tech and financial bellwethers set to report earnings.
Stocks rebounded on the day, led higher by the Nasdaq, which rose 26 points, or 1.1%, to 2,308. The Dow climbed 54 points to 10,681, while the S&P jumped 9 points to 1,146. Oil dipped -$1.14 to $79.65 a barrel, while gold added $8.60 to $1,138.00 an ounce.
On the economic front, the Fed said in its Beige Book report that economic activity remained at low levels entering the year but was showing improvement.
In earnings news, semiconductor company Linear Technology (LLTC) saw its fiscal second-quarter profit fall -12% to $75.5 million, or 33 cents a share, from $86.2 million, or 38 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 3% to $256.4 million. Analysts were looking for EPS of 30 cents on sales of $246.5 million. The stock fell -1.2%. Fourteen Pro investors counted the stock among their top-15 holdings at the start of Q4, while 114 tickerspy members included the stock in their portfolios.
Elsewhere in the chip sector, TriQuint Semiconductor (TQNT) shares rose 6.9% after the radio frequency chipmaker lifted its Q4 EPS forecast. The company now expects to post adjusted EPS of 12-13 cents on revenue of $190 million, up from a prior forecast for EPS of 10-12 cents on sales between $175-$185 million. Analysts were looking for EPS of 11 cents on revenue of $180.9 million.
Also lifting its outlook was Kraft (KFT). The food company now expects to post operating income of at least $2.00 per share. In November, the company raised its full-year EPS guidance to $1.97 from $1.93. The company credited strong operating gains and increased marketing investments for the raised guidance. The stock, nonetheless, fell -0.2%.
Shares of Chinese Internet search company Baidu (BIDU) surged 13.7% on the news that Google (GOOG) may close its operations in China as part of its decision to stop censoring its search results in the country. A series of cyber-attacks on the Gmail accounts of human-rights activists appears to been the impetus for the announcement. Twenty-eight Pro investors counted Baidu among their top-15 holdings at the start of Q4, while over 1,100 tickerspy members included the stock in their portfolios.
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