Micron, Jabil Top Wall Street Forecasts

Stocks fell Tuesday on fears about consumer confidence and job losses, but Micron Technology (NYSE: MU) and Jabil Circuit (NYSE: JBL) had some good news for the tech sector after the bell.

Jabil shares jumped 8 percent in after-hours trading after the important contract manufacturer — whose clients include the likes of Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) and HP (NYSE: HPQ) — posted quarterly results that were better than Wall Street analysts expected.

Jabil’s sales were down 14 percent from the year-ago quarter to $2.8 billion, but that was $140 million better than forecast, and the company’s earnings and current quarter guidance were also well ahead of estimates.

The company cited “a more benign end-market environment” for the results.

Micron shares edged higher after the company reported a better than expected loss and sales. In a statement, CEO Steve Appleton said, “The market, while still challenging, is beginning to improve.”

The stock market traded lower during the day, as investors fretted about an unexpected drop in consumer confidence and upcoming monthly jobs reports from ADP and the U.S. Labor Department. And next week, quarterly earnings reports will begin to trickle out.

Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM), Palm (NASDAQ: PALM) and Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) bucked the downtrend with modest gains, but an upgrade did nothing for shares of Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM).

The Nasdaq lost 6 to 2124, the S&P 500 slipped 2 to 1060, and the Dow lost 47 to 9742. Volume rose to 4.95 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.09 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 19-17 margin on the NYSE, and 15-11 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 51 percent on the NYSE, and 40 percent on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 221-33 on the NYSE, and 102-12 on the Nasdaq.

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