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TECH STOCKS: December Starts Out Strong For Tech Stocks

By Rex Crum, MarketWatch SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- December started out in a giving mood for tech stocks Wednesday, as most sector leaders joined in a broad market rally fueled by positive reaction to the latest U.S. jobs data and other economic reports from around the world. The Nasdaq Composite Index (RIXF) climbed 51 points, or more than 2%, to close at 2,549. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) rose more than 3% and the Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (MSH) added 2.3%. Gains were helped by the ADP employment report, which showed that private-sector jobs in the United States rose by 93,000 in November, the biggest advance in three years. Also, the market got a lift on reports that the United States is going to support the extension of aid to Europe with extra money commitments from the International Monetary Fund. Among leading tech stocks, Apple Inc. (AAPL), Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO), Dell Inc. (DELL), Intel Corp. (INTC) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) all posted gains. Google Inc. (GOOG) rose $8.64 a share to close at $564.35 a day after reports said the company was in talks to acquire online discount and deal site Groupon for as much as $6 billion. Separately, Groupon said it bought Ludic Labs of San Mateo, Calif., which develops local marketing services. Groupon's founder and chief executive, Andrew Mason, didn't address the Google reports, saying in a statement that "unfortunately, we cannot comment on speculation or rumors about our business." Motorola Inc. (MOT) shares rose 35 cents a share, or 4.5%, to close at $8.01. Late Tuesday, the company said it would split in two on Jan. 4, with the new companies to be called Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions. OmniVision Technologies Inc. (OVTI) rose $2.73 a share, or 9.7% to $31.02. Late Tuesday, the maker of image-sensor chips and devices reported a second-quarter profit of $28.9 million, or 50 cents a share, on revenue of $239.5 million. During the same period a year ago, OmniVision earned $8.1 million or 16 cents a share on $183.3 million in sales.

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