Apple Gives a Boost to Chip Stocks

Reports of strong iPad sales sent shares of memory makers surging on Monday, while the rest of the market gained on news of strong consumer spending and a financial rescue package for Greece.

The news quelled growing financial fears for a day and sent stocks to their best gains since mid-February.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) was up 2 percent on news that 1 million iPads have already been sold. That was even better news for makers of memory chips like SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK) and Micron (NYSE: MU), which saw their shares soar 9 percent and 6 percent, respectively.

A Semiconductor Industry Association report that showed chip sales for March up 58.3 percent from a year ago also helped chip stocks.

3PAR (NYSE: PAR) gained 8.6 percent a day ahead of its earnings report. The gains were helped by a Barron’s article that said the company could be a takeover target for Dell (NASDAQ: DELL).

Dell will also be reporting its quarterly results later this month, as will Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), HP (NYSE: HPQ), NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP), Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT) and Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD), among others.

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