Stocks Finish Higher

Firm guidance from Hewlett-Packard and Applied Materials helped lift the market

Stocks finished higher on Wednesday, boosted by strength in semiconductor and computer groups following strong outlooks from bellwethers Hewlett-Packard and Applied Materials, according to Standard & Poor's MarketScope. A bigger-than-expected jump in wholesale prices in July, however, has raised some concerns that inflation is growing. Oil prices tumbled, after a mixed weekly inventory report.

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