TECH STOCKS: Semiconductor Issues Slow Market - InformationWeek

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1/21/2004
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TECH STOCKS: Semiconductor Issues Slow Market

Blue chips finished at levels they haven't seen in nearly two years, but chip stocks dragged down tech-heavy indexes.

The major stock indexes closed mixed on Wednesday as profit-taking and weakness in semiconductors hurt tech stocks, while blue-chip issues hit their highest point in nearly two years.

The InformationWeek 100 fell 4.00 points, or 1.1%, to 348.77, and the Nasdaq index fell 5.53, or 0.3% to 2,142.45. The Nasdaq-100 tracking stock fell 16 cents to $38.38. Less tech-heavy indexes fared better. Meanwhile, the Dow industrials rose 94.96, or 0.9%, to 10,623.62, its highest finish since mid-March 2002, and the S&P 500 rose 8.85, or 0.8%, to 1,147.62.

Telecom equipment maker Lucent Technologies lost 33 cents, or 6.9%, to close at $4.42 after it reported profit results that beat expectations, but forecast future earnings to be flat to only slightly higher. Motorola fell 24 cents, or 1.4%, to close at $16.81 after its fourth-quarter earnings beat expectations, but analysts were less than impressed by a 3% decline in cell-phone sales.

There also was some weakness in semiconductor stocks, with Advanced Micro Devices dropping $1.48, or 8.5%, to close at $15.90. AMD beat analyst forecasts with its first profit in more than two years, but said future sales could decline. Cypress Semiconductor fell 86 cents, or 3.7%, to $22.54; Texas Instruments fell $1.12, or 3.4%, to $32.31; and Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, fell 41 cents, or 1.3%, to $32.20.

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