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18-04-2012 16:32:00

TECH STOCKS: Intel, IBM Weigh Down Techs, But Yahoo Rises

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By Benjamin Pimentel, MarketWatch

SAN FRANCSICO (MarketWatch) -- Shares of Intel Corp. and IBM Corp. slipped Wednesday, leading a tech sector retreat and weighing down the Dow Jones Industrial Average after the two giants' reports disappointed Wall Street.

Intel (INTC) slid 2.4% to $27.79 after the world's biggest chipmaker beat Wall Street estimates, but its gross margin forecast for the current quarter was a tad lower than expected.

"The company beat numbers by a bit in the first quarter, and raised revenue estimates for the second quarter," Bernstein Research analyst Stacy Rasgon said in a note. "However, we get the feeling that the investment community might have anticipated a larger raise than was offered."

IBM (IBM) shares shed more than 2% to $202.34, after the company reported flat sales.

In a note, Sterne Agee's Shaw Wu wrote, "IBM's global and diverse business model continues to allow it to deliver strong results despite a tougher macroeconomic environment."

But he also cited tough year-over-year comparisons especially in Big Blue's hardware business, and the company's high exposure in the financial services market.

On the other hand, Yahoo (YHOO) shares gained 3.2% as investors welcomed a glimmers of hope from the struggling Web portal, as the company beat Wall Street's earnings projections.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares rose 0.8%, extending the prior session's rebound.

Also giving the sector a lift were shares of Seagate Technology (STX) which were up 4.3% after the hard disk drive maker posted a surge in profit.

In a sign of recovery for the hard disk drive industry, which was hurt by the impact of the Thailand flooding disaster, rival Western Digital (WDC) also saw its shares rise 4.5%.

But these gains were not enough to keep the tech sector afloat, as the Nasdaq Composite Index (RIXF) gave up 4 points, to 3,038.

The Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (SOX) was also down a fraction, while the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) lost 1.4%.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 18, 2012 10:32 ET (14:32 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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