Wall Street Beat: Despite Apple's fall, Microsoft profit drop, tech sales do well

Generally strong vendor reports help boost markets to levels not seen since before the Great Recession

By , IDG News Service |  IT Management

On the company's conference call, SAP co-CEO Bill McDermott said that while many companies were holding off purchases while waiting to see what would happen to the so-called U.S. "fiscal cliff," fears of an austerity-induced recession seem to be fading. The fiscal cliff was a series of budget cuts set to go into effect if the U.S. Congress had not reached at least a partial deal on taxes and spending.

"We see early evidence already, now that we're through the fiscal cliff, that [business has] loosened up and returned to a normal state again, which is quite encouraging," McDermott said.

There was also plenty of good news in the consumer electronics market this week:

--Samsung's Galaxy S3 and Note 2 handsets helped increase quarterly net profit by 75 percent to 7 trillion won (US$ 6.56 billion) from 4 trillion won a year ago. Revenue was 56 trillion won.

--Nokia reported fourth-quarter sales of ¬8.04 billion (US$10.71 billion), down 20 percent year on year, resulting in profit of ¬202 million, compared to a net loss of ¬1.07 billion a year earlier.

All major U.S. exchanges and indexes rose Friday, after the S&P 500 broke 1,500 for the first time since December 2007. Though a drop in claims for unemployment benefits helped, strong prospects for tech were also credited with the general optimism. The Nasdaq computer index rose 2.2 points Friday to close at 1559.61, despite Apple's declining share price.

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