What happened

For five long days, it looked like Nvidia (NVDA -0.46%) stock could do no right -- the share price just kept dropping as investors sought out cheaper ways to play the global semiconductor shortage.

That ended Wednesday morning when traders latched on to some positive commentary from an analyst at KeyBanc. As of 10:40 a.m. ET, Nvidia stock was up a solid 2%.

Green line heart monitor shows a big jump.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

What did KeyBanc analyst John Vinn say to stop the slide? Not a lot, actually -- but apparently, enough.

As StreetInsider.com reports, the bank's "November cloud instance tracker" is showing strong demand for cloud computing services (and Nvidia's semiconductors help with those). Specifically, "instances" of cloud computing services being used grew by 29% year over year in November, and by 6% in comparison to October. The news was best for Microsoft's (MSFT 0.34%) Azure business, and Amazon's (AMZN -0.01%) AWS, both of which grew faster than average year over year.

Looking at the chipmakers, KeyBanc was most optimistic about Advanced Micro Devices (AMD 0.52%), whose chips largely power Microsoft's Azure, and less so about Intel (INTC -1.01%), noting that Intel's processor deployments grew 4% month over month and 22% year over year across all major cloud services providers -- below the averages.

Now what

And Nvidia? That's the strange thing. According to KeyBanc, the semiconductor company's "instances" number grew only 25% year over year -- good, but still below average. And Nvidia's growth was only 1% sequentially from October.

In the final analysis, KeyBanc declared these results positive for AMD, "moderately negative" for Intel, and only neutral for Nvidia. That wasn't great news, but it seems to have been at least enough to stop the sell-off of Nvidia's shares.