Sector Wrap: Semiconductors slip on PC fears

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? Semiconductor stocks slumped broadly Wednesday amid persistent worries about the health of the personal computer industry.

Shares of Micron Technology Inc., which makes computer memory, fell 36 cents, or 6.4 percent, to $5.30 after executives warned about soft PC demand this summer affecting memory sales. Advanced Micro Devices Inc., the No. 2 maker of computer microprocessors, fell 16 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $6.34. Nvidia Corp., which makes graphics chips as well as processors for smartphones and tablets, fell 19 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $13.04.

The declines highlight deep fears about the state of the PC industry amid sharp slowdowns in the U.S. and Europe, which have actually caused those markets to contract, while competition from mobile gadgets such as Apple Inc.’s iPad and iPhone siphon off PC sales.

Dell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. have both delivered disappointing quarterly results in recent weeks. HP is considering spinning off or selling its PC business, a strong signal about the fading prospects for strong profits in that industry.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Sector Index fell 0.40 points, or 0.1 percent, to 345.69 points Wednesday.

One notable outlier was Intel Corp., whose stock rose 9 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $19.80.