By Todd Woody
April 17, 2008

By Scott Moritz

IBM (IBM) sounded a rally cry for tech as the big IT shop blew past its first quarter targets.

Big Blue roundly beat the Street’s adjusted profit expectations by 20 cents with a $1.65 bottom line for the first quarter. Sales of $24.5 billion also soared passed analysts’ estimates, which called for revenue of $23.7 billion in the quarter ended last month.

The news follows Intel’s

reported solid results. The Dow Jones index was up 2% and the tech-laden Nasdaq rose nearly 3% Wednesday.

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