Tech stocks have been weighing heavily on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) lately. Today, they took their turn at propping the index up.
Two of the Dow's top three gainers at midday came right out of Silicon Valley. Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) led the charge with a 2%, gain and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) followed with a 0.8% jump. These gains come with the final gasps of this earnings season, even though both companies already got their own reports out of the way.
Cisco got the ball rolling earlier this week with a fine report and optimistic forward guidance. Last night, NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP) added its voice to the sudden chorus of optimistic tech reports, noting that sales were on the upswing throughout the just-reported quarter and only getting better as we speak.
NetApp is a relatively small patch in the great quilt of enterprise computing, but a well-respected and important one nonetheless. The positive report sparked gains across the IT sector: Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) soared 1.4%, and storage rival EMC (NYSE:EMC) gained 0.7% even as the Dow fell 0.1%.
This is a welcome trend break (unless you're flush with cash and looking for low-cost buying opportunities, of course). A few weeks ago, Intel led a bevy of tech giants downward, painting a unanimously bleak picture of year-end business prospects. Global macroeconomic worries piled on top of cautious government spending to hold the entire sector down. Cisco and NetApp just started dispelling these dark clouds.