Tech Sector Defies Gravity as Web Drives Upgrades

Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPads and iPhones are flying off store shelves. Consumers are snapping up laptops. Some companies are opening the spigot on long-delayed upgrades to computer systems.

Despite renewed worries about the global economy, the technology industry is riding a recovery that underscores the evolution of the Internet.

More proof of the industry’s improved health is likely to arrive this week in quarterly financial results. Chip giant Intel Corp. (INTC) is expected to get the ball rolling Tuesday with its fifth- straight upbeat earnings report. Solid growth is expected from other tech bellwethers, including Google Inc. (GOOG) on Thursday and Apple on July 20.

So far, the upswing doesn’t begin to match the tech booms of the late 1990s and the middle years of this decade. And the stock prices of many technology companies have been under pressure since the spring, reflecting fears that the recovery’s momentum can’t continue.

But anecdotal evidence points to continued consumer demand for smartphones, laptop computers, software and other products, while some businesses are beginning to step up spending on servers, storage systems and networking equipment.

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