AMAT, Bernanke Boost Stocks

Better than expected results from Applied Materials and soothing words from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke sent stocks soaring on Wednesday.

AMAT shares gained 4% after the company gave a stronger than expected sales and order outlook, sending the chip sector 2% higher.

Buying really picked up after Bernanke said in congressional testimony that the economy remains strong and inflation tame, sending blue chip stocks to another record close, as traders shook off flat retail sales data.

Corillian soared 45% on news that it will be acquired by CheckFree , and Asia Satellite surged 27% on a takeover offer from majority shareholders.

Affiliated Computer , Macrovision , Garmin and SPSS gained on their results. and Daktronics fell on their earnings reports.

Ciena and Varian rose on upgrades.

The Nasdaq surged 28 to 2488, the S&P 500 gained 11 to 1455, and the Dow rose 87 to 12,741. Volume rose to 2.68 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.26 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 22-10 on the NYSE, and 17-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 76% on the NYSE, and 84% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 373-16 on the NYSE, and 197-37 on the Nasdaq.

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