Analysts at NationsBanc Montgomery Securities have added their voices to the growing opinion that the worldwide slump in the semiconductor market has seen its darkest days and is headed for a rebound next year. The bankers reckon that the industry is beginning to form a bottom and see microprocessors poised to lead the recovery, especially as end-users enter another upgrade cycle caused by the introduction of Windows NT 5.0. NMS says the recovery will be tied to continued growth in sales of PCs, new telecom equipment – such as digital wireless handsets – and semiconductor-based networking system software. Another helpful trend is the ongoing conversion by chip makers to the 0.18 microns standard. Lastly, the US-based industry will be boosted by the dramatic drop in production by Japanese and Korean manufacturers, the NMS analysts said. The bank is recommending shares in Intel Corp, Micron Technology Inc and Texas Instruments Inc, as well as some of the major semiconductor equipment manufacturers.