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Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bull 3X Shares (NYSE: SOXL ) , a leveraged exchange traded fund following the chip sector, was the biggest percentage gainer in ETFs on Friday, with a nearly 8% rally.
The sector jumped after Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD ) reported strong quarterly earnings. The stock soared nearly 20% in afternoon trading Friday as Wall Street applauded the company's third-quarter sales outlook.
AMD is still looking for a replacement for its chief executive, who stepped down earlier this year.
"While the CEO search dragged on, for the most part AMD continued to execute. Second-quarter results were in line with growth in notebooks offsetting a likely further loss in share in servers," BMO Capital Markets said.
"Advanced Micro Devices benefited from a rebound in microprocessor demand in 2010 after suffering a cyclical downturn in 2009. Although the firm faces some long-term competitive obstacles from Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) , we believe it will have an opportunity to win back market share from its larger rival in 2011," Morningstar analysts added in a note.
SPDR S&P Semiconductor ETF (NYSE: XSD ) rose more than 3%.
Growth in worldwide semiconductor sales will grow at a slower rate in 2012, according to a forecast from International Data Corp., Dow Jones Newswires reported this week.
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