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Stocks mostly higher after Intel boosts forecast

NEW YORK — The stock market got a small boost Friday from Intel Corp., which raised its third-quarter sales forecast and offered investors fresh hope that businesses are starting to recover from the recession.

Stocks were mostly higher in early trading after the world's largest maker of computer chips said it now expects sales of $8.8 billion to $9.2 billion in the current quarter. It had previously forecast revenue in the range of $8.1 billion to $8.9 billion.

Intel shares rose nearly 5 percent, helping to lift the Nasdaq composite index about 1 percent. Other major stock indexes rose modestly.

Intel's upbeat report came a day after computer maker Dell Inc. posted better-than-expected results for its May-July quarter. While sales continued to fall because of reduced spending by consumers and businesses, Dell said it has seen signs of improvement.

Overseas markets rose on strong earnings from consumer goods companies and an increase in European economic confidence.

Despite a rise of nearly 5 percent in the Dow Jones industrials over the past eight days, the market remains cautious. Investors are worried that the market's huge rally this spring and summer, which pushed stocks up more than 45 percent since early March, may have run its course. Trading has been choppy and volume has been light as summer on Wall Street winds to a close.

In early trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.68, or 0.01 percent, to 9,581.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 2.83, or 0.3 percent, to 1,033.81, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index rose 18.88, or 0.9 percent, to 2,046.61.