An early rally in Corning (NYSE: GLW) shares Wednesday after upbeat earnings from the company helped steady exchange traded funds (ETFs) for the technology sector.

Corning shares were up more than 4% in early trading Wednesday following results that surpassed Wall Street expectations. The stock is a top holding in tech ETFs such as Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund (NYSEArca: XLK), and also accounts for 12% of Broadband HOLDRS (AMEX: BDH).

Corning said first-quarter sales jumped 24% from the year-ago period to nearly $2 billion, while telecommunications sales rose 30%.

“We built on the momentum coming out of 2010 to deliver exceptional year-over-year performance from all of our business segments,” said Chief Executive Wendell Weeks.

“Our volume across the display business remained strong,” the CEO said. “Our telecommunications performance was robust and at levels we haven’t experienced in a number of years.”

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