Intel watchers ask how ugly the future will be
Technology investors watching as Intel Corp (INTC.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and other semiconductor makers report earnings this week have one question: How bad can it get?
"People expect the worst," said Doug Freedman of American Technology Research in San Francisco, speaking of Intel earnings, which are due on Tuesday and come against a backdrop of dismal economic news that has sent stocks down.
Christopher Danely of J.P. Morgan in San Francisco said demand was going "straight down the tubes."
Economists worry that the United States is heading for recession affecting demand for everything from cars and houses to television and computers.
Texas Instruments, Advanced Micro Devices Inc, Xilinx Inc and Altera Corp also report this week or next.
But analysts are not sure that all the bad news has trickled back to the microchip makers from companies that make, sell and distribute products that use chips.
"When Intel gives guidance it may or may not have received guidance from distributors that terrible things are happening," said Brian Piccioni of BMO Capital Markets in Canada.
And that leaves things uncertain for now.