NEW YORK (CNNfn) - The tech sector tentatively got back on its feet Thursday after a big spill the day before, as one of the industry's bellwether players ended a hard two-day skid.
Direct PC vendor Dell Computer (DELL) clambered back up from the canvas, gaining 1-7/16 to 83 after falling 7-3/16 Wednesday in the wake of a quarterly earnings report that disappointed Wall Street analysts.
On the rally train was the telecommunications- equipment behemoth Lucent Communications (LU), rising 4-5/8 to 100-7/8 after unveiling a deal with Russia's SviazStroy-1 to make fiber- optic cable for network operators across the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Ciena (CIEN), the maker of multiplexing equipment that lets fiber-optic networks carry more data, fell 1-7/16 to 20-7/8 ahead of the release of a quarterly earnings reports.
After the bell, Ciena reported fiscal first-quarter profit of 2 cents a share, compared to a profit of 37 cents a year earlier. Analysts polled by First Call Corp., an earnings-tracking firm, expected a loss of 1 cent per share.
Ciena shares rose to 21-31/32 after the bell.
Competitive pricing from the likes of Lucent are partly behind the expectation for the loss, one analyst said.
Elsewhere on the earnings tableau, Sipex (SIPX) plummeted 11 to 12-13/16, or 46 percent, after the maker of integrated circuits expressed caution about revenue. The warning came just as the chip maker passed analysts' earnings targets in its fourth quarter.
Meanwhile in the chip sector, Intel (INTC), which unveiled a $300 million marketing blitz for its upcoming Pentium III processor, added 3-1/2 to 128-1/8. The official launch of the new chip is scheduled for Feb. 26.
As its federal antitrust trial continues, Microsoft (MSFT) dropped 4-1/4 to 145-3/4 after the software giant rebutted charges it tried to bully Apple Computer (AAPL) into using Microsoft products.
The drop at Microsoft, the most important stock in the Nasdaq Composite, put a brake on the index's rebound on Thursday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index closed up 11.64 points at 2,260.55.
Broadcast.com was beaming
One highlight to an otherwise soft Internet sector was Broadcast.com (BCST), beaming up 9-15/16 to 68-1/8, or 17 percent, after the brokerage Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette lifted its rating on the stock to a "buy" from "neutral" and upped its price target to $100 from $40.
Late Wednesday, the streamer of video and audio across the Web announced a new music channel with Capitol Records.
Among the top declines in the sector were Amazon.com (AMZN), off 4 to 89-1/2, the online news provider CNET (CNET), down 10 to 110-3/8, and broker E-Trade Group (EGRP) tumbling 2-13/16 to 39-3/16.