I don't really see [today's bad corporate news] as significant fundamental factors, I see it more as an excuse for short-term profit-taking. The correction we've seen is very small relative to the rally we've seen in the last few weeks.
In spite of the Gateway announcement, there seems to be some firming in demand for PCs and flash memory. Pricing is starting to improve. And for IT services, capacity utilization is finally starting to improve.
It'll take another round of earnings to confirm some of the optimism that's been going around. And I don't know that I would say all the news was necessarily good. A lot of companies beat much-lowered expectations and didn't necessarily have rosy outlooks.
The market will take any good news it can wrap its arms around so if Dell offers some encouragement that might mark a short-term bottom for tech. But it has to say some positive things about the spending environment, which isn't likely since there is no incentive to be overly optimistic.
This uncertainty about what Microsoft is going to do with the cash has been hanging over the stock for a couple of years. A buyback would be a signal that management is optimistic with the price of its own stock.