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HP stands nearly alone

In an update to yesterday's post about Hewlett Packard's (HPQ) excellent performance not necessarily being an indicator that the entire tech sector would do well, I wanted to comment on yesterday's market action.

In a day marked with bad news on the financial, housing and inflation fronts, the technology sector managed to rally 1.7%, largely due to HP. Was this positive attitude warranted?

As an anecdotal survey of the state of tech yesterday, one can always use as a proxy the posts on the Tech Trader Daily blog at Barron's. Here is what yesterday looked like on one of the best tech blogs:

The following stocks reported poor earnings, weak guidance or both: Tekelec, Novatel, Verigy, MEMC, Analog Devices, DealerTrack, Veraz, Garmin, Limelight, ComCast, Verizon, AT&T, Qwest, Sprint, Sharper Image, 3Com

The following companies provided good earnings, good guidance or both: Local.com, Synopsys, BIDZ

That's 16 companies on the negative side and 3 companies on the positive side. Pretty lopsided. HP, having reported the previous day after the close, was not included in yesterday's posts.

To support a sustained rally in tech, one would expect to see more good news coming from a wider variety of tech companies and especially from some of the smaller players. This mini-survey does not indicate that we are there yet. I get the impression that yesterday's rally in tech may have been more about being over-sold or about short-covering rather than being about the bright prospects of the overall tech sector.

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