Stocks quoted in this article:
The PHLX Semiconductor Index (SOX - 833.3), an index of 16 semiconductor chip and equipment manufacturers, closed lower as technology stocks continue to suffer weakness. Amid the sector's decline, the North American semiconductor equipment industry recently announced a very strong August book-to-bill ratio. This ratio compares the three-month moving average of the booked new orders to the three-month moving average of shipments sent. The book-to-bill was reported at 1.24, indicating that $124 in orders were received for every $100 of products shipped. Bookings (new orders) posted a rise of 3.6 percent over July, topping the three-billion mark for the first time. This lifted the three-month average of bookings more than four percent higher than July and more than 93 percent higher than August 1999. The North American semiconductor equipment industry has now seen 18 consecutive months of year-over-year growth.
On a technical basis, the SOX fell today to the 830 level, the site of a late-May low. If this level fails to hold as support, the round-number 800 level is the next area of support below.