Sector Snap: Chipmaker, PC stocks fall

AP News
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Posted: Jun 01, 2012 3:46 PM
Sector Snap: Chipmaker, PC stocks fall

Shares of chipmakers and personal-computer manufacturers fell Friday amid worries about consumer and business spending in the U.S. and Europe.

Lackluster U.S. jobs and employment data renewed concerns that consumers may begin to reduce spending on items that aren't necessities. PC makers already have seen sales slow down in the U.S. as consumers delay replacements and opt for wireless devices such as smartphones and tablet computers instead.

The Labor Department said Friday that U.S. employers added only 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year. The unemployment rate also increased to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent. Economists had forecast a gain of 158,000 jobs.

Analysts are also worried that the debt crisis and imminent recession in Europe will hurt sales.

Tristan Gerra of Robert W. Baird reduced estimates for Intel Corp. in the second half "to reflect significant weakness from Europe negatively affecting the PC supply chain." Gerra said order trends in Asia are also weak.

Intel shares fell 68 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $25.16 in afternoon trading.

Other chipmakers also saw declines:

_ Advanced Micro Devices Inc. fell 36 cents, or 5.9 percent, to $5.72.

_ Texas Instruments Inc. fell $1.42, or 5 percent, to $27.06.

_ Qualcomm Inc. fell $2.18, or 3.8 percent, to $55.13.

Shares of Hewlett-Packard Co. fell after Peter Misek of Jefferies & Co. downgraded the stock because of worries that tablet computers and smartphones could hurt some of the technology company's businesses. Misek also said uncertainty in Europe seems to be causing a slowdown in information-technology spending.

HP lost $1.41, or 6.2 percent, to $21.27 in afternoon trading. Dell Inc.6fell 22 cents, or 2.1 percent, to $12.07.

Shares of Apple, which hasn't felt the same competitive pressures as other PC makers, also fell. The stock lost $16.63, or 2.9 percent, to $561.10.