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Global semiconductor sales rose 1.3% in November

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Technology stocks are getting a boost in this morning's pre- market trade after the Semiconductor Industry Association reported that global semiconductor sales rose 1.3% in November over October to $12.68 billion, with wireless chips leading sales.

Sales in November rose 19.6% from last year's November, the Semiconductor Industry Association said.

The November sales were largely in line with estimates from analysts.

"It appears fourth quarter 2002 worldwide semiconductor sales will decrease one percent from the third quarter of 2002, well below the 1998-2001 average sequential growth rate of 4%. We believe this is due to a lack of end demand," J.P. Morgan Securities said. J.P. Morgan said it was leaving its forecast for worldwide chip sales in 2002 unchanged at $139.6 billion, representing 2% growth over 2001.

Bear Stearns said the relatively flat November year-over-year growth versus October signals "the start of a period of stammering year-over-year growth comparisons due to a combination of weakening seasonal trends and increasingly more challenging prior year comparisons."

Wireless products flash and digital signal processor sales rose 6.6% and 3.7% respectively in November. In the computer segment, microprocessors rose 0.5% and DRAMs rose 5.8%.

On a three-month rolling basis, average sales in November were up 25% year-over-year, slightly lower than the 26% rate set in October.

In pre-market trading, shares of Dow component Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) $16.40 are edging up 13 cents to $16.53 (+0.79%), while semiconductor equipment maker Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) $13.52 gains 8 cents to $13.60 (+0.59%) on light volume.

The March Light, Sweet Crude Oil futures contract (cl03h) is gaining 57 cents, or 1.79% to $32.37 and a contract high on continued thought that a U.S. lead war with Iraq is nearing.

European Central Bank chief Wim Duisenberg added to concerns over the impact of a U.S.-led military strike on Iraq, saying in a televised Dutch program over the weekend "a war with Iraq is bad news for the economy. As an economist I say don't do it."

Here in the U.S., S&P futures (sp03h) are gaining 4 points to 875.80. NASDAQ futures (nd03h) are also up 4 points to 1,005.50, while Dow futures (dj03h) are higher by 35 points at 8,305.

Fair value for the S&P 500 today is $0.14. That price will not change during the session. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $0.44 and set for program selling at $-2.32. Fair value for the NASDAQ-100 today is $3.30.

Jeff Bailey

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