Investors were banking on a lousy jobs number, and the last two days of trading have reflected that point That’s what I’m hearing from the traders I know – shrewd peope I shared trading pits with back in the day – almost to a man (and woman) saying that next to the housing market, the next most important key in rebounding from a deep recession is jobs. So when the day before the U.S. Labor department is expected to announce new U.S. employment numbers, the market falls in the last hour of trading over 200 points alone. Hmmm. I’m betting …

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That little spike in semiconductor stocks we saw in Q1 may be coming to a screeching halt, if the new numbers we're seeing are any good. Actually, the drop in semiconductor revenues from Q1 2008 to Q2 is fairly amazing, and I don't mean that in a good way. Here's the scoop. Semiconductor equipment revenues during the second quarter of 2008 amounted to $7.83 billion. That's down from $10.6 billion reported in the first quarter of 2008 -- sharp decline of 26%. From year to year, the revenue figure for the semiconductor industry fell to 26% from 29% - not …

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A lousy way to start off the week on Wall Street. Stocks were down 250 points by 1 PM Monday, mostly from downbeat earnings expectations from financial giant AIG. Adding fuel to the fire was a modest spike in oil prices (to $115 per barrel) mostly due the onslaught of the hurricane season and uncertainties about the health of Georgia’s oil supplies after its wrestling match with Russia. Some good news? Housing sales were up 3.1% last month – way better than real estate analysts had expected and gasoline prices have fallen significantly (down to $3.40 a gallon in bucolic …

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Everybody's touting Intel as being the trigger for a run-up in chip stocks late last week, although I like the numbers that National Semiconductor is showing. What's beyond debate, however, is that the semiconductor market is on the rebound amid signs that the sector's long decline may finally be over. The Nasdaq Index was up 46 points on Friday on the news that Intel come out and said that it would be in line with analyst's forecasts, albeit at the lower end. Meanwhile, National Semiconductor saw its stock rise 5% on Friday after besting analysts' expectations for its last quarter. …

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It’s a big day for semiconductor stocks, with an upbeat forecast from chip giant Intel boosting stocks in other semiconductor companies and giving the overall market a nice bounce, as well. Through mid-morning trading, Intel is up $1, to $22 per share. Other chip companies are following suit . . . -- Texas Instruments Inc. up 38 cents to $29.10 -- Qualcomm Inc., up 74 cents to $41.93 -- Advanced Micro Devices Inc. up 16 cents, or 2.8 percent, to $5.94 Although Intel’s net income fell by 12% for the quarter, thanks to costs incurred in the company’s recent restructuring …

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The roller coaster ride for tech stocks grew even wilder today, but in a good, adrenaline-rush kind of way. The news is mostly all good, with Banc of America Securities issuing a report that boosted semiconductor companies, stating that "a modest inventory build-up has eased". That's all investors needed to know, as shares of tech stocks rose en masse, with Intel, up 4% after the Banc of America news hit the trading floor, and Apple the big winners. The tech sector was also buoyed by a JP Morgan analyst report that upgraded Apple's profit forecasts. That shot Apple's stock up …

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With the semiconductor market on the ropes, Intel is doing all it can to stay relevant - financially and globally. To that end, today's news that Intel has "doubled down" on China by rolling out its second venture fund in the burgeoning Far East Tiger. The fund, to be called the Intel Capital China Technology Fund II, or as cynical Wall Street traders are calling it "Son of Intel Capital China Technology Fund". The $500 million will target investments in funding start-ups in booming Chinese markets like wireless broadband, media, telecommunications, and clean-and-green technologies. Already two fledgling companies are in …

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Has there been a technology "leap" in the semiconductor market? Some people think so. But should investors go along for the ride? Earlier this year, George Scalise, the president of the Semiconductor Industry Association, was issuing talking points to the press over the relative health of the semiconductor sector. Much of it was boilerplate -- 2006 was the “year of the consumer” in the electronics industry, he said, which begs the question what year isn’t the year of the consumer in the electronics industry – but some of his comments hit their mark. Thanks to a perfect storm of new, …

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The End.