Intel, technology companies drive up stocks
By ASSOCIATED PRESS February 3, 2011 9:33AM
FILE - In this Jan. 4. 2011 file photo, trader Barry Surkis, center, works with colleagues on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, file)
NEW YORK (AP) — Technology stocks rose Monday after Intel Corp. raised its quarterly dividend and said it would buy back more of its stock.
The news sent Intel’s stock up 1.6 percent to $21.14. Another technology company, graphics chip maker Nvidia Corp., was the biggest gainer in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index. Nvidia rose 7 percent to $23.79 after Barrons magazine predicted its stock could rise 80 percent over the next year.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 24 points, or 0.2 percent, to 11,896 in morning trading.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 1, or 0.1 percent, to 1,285. The Nasdaq composite index rose 4, or 0.2 percent, to 2,694.
RadioShack Corp. fell 11.4 percent to $15.61 after the electronics retailer said its chairman and CEO, Julian Day, would retire in May. The electronics retailer also released a disappointing forecast for fourth quarter earnings.
J.C. Penney Co. rose 7 percent to $32.43 after the retailer said it would close stores and continue to exit the catalog business. The company also named Vornado Realty Trust Chairman Steven Roth and activist investor William Ackman to its board. Ackman and his hedge fund Pershing Square Management have pushed for major changes in retailers he holds stakes in.
American Express Co., CSX Corp. and Texas Instruments Inc. are scheduled to release their results after the market closes.
Bond prices fell, pushing their yields slightly higher. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.42 percent from 3.40 percent late Friday.
A report from the National Association for Business Economics showed that economists are more positive about economic growth and the job market than at any time since the start of the Great Recession.
No other major economic reports were scheduled to be released Monday. Reports on home prices, consumer confidence and new home sales are due out later in the week. A report on gross domestic product, due out Friday, is expected to show that the economy grew at a 3.1 percent rate in the fourth quarter, up from 2.6 percent in the third quarter.
The economy is also likely to be the focus of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night.