Tech Poised to Gain on IBM, Intel Momentum

Strong earnings results this week from IBM and Intel have tech stocks in the midst of a nice rally.

Stocks up

Industrial bellwether International Business Machines and chipmaker Intel both posted profit ahead of analyst expectations, allaying fears that poor results last week from General Electric might have been the harbinger of earnings disaster to come.

The Nasdaq index, the stock market's chief barometer of technology stocks, gained 2.7 percent in fairly heavy trading Wednesday and is up 7.7 percent from its 2008 low closing on March 10.

After trading Wednesday, IBM reported a 26 percent earnings gain year over year. Shares soared to a six-year high in after-the-bell trading and were indicating a 2.1 percent gain in premarket trading Thursday.

Intel, meanwhile, also gave the market a pleasant surprise, beating expectations and raising its outlook for the year ahead. Shares gained more than 5.5 percent Wednesday.

Other tech companies also are poised to gain off the momentum, and the Nasdaq as a whole was indicating a positive opening.

Microsoft shares were up premarket as the company continues to pursue Internet search engine Yahoo!.

The market also is closely watching SanDisk, the flash storage company set to report earnings after the bell Thursday. SanDisk shares gained 7 percent Wednesday, with analysts expecting the company to report year-over-year earnings to gain 18 percent, or 26 cents a share.