Micron Sends Stocks Higher

Investors cheered Micron’s (NYSE: MU) better than expected sales and looked past red ink and falling memory prices to send stocks modestly higher on Wednesday.

Micron shares gained 10% in the shortened pre-holiday trading session, and Rambus (NASDAQ: RMBS) and SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK) also gained on the memory chipmaker’s quarterly earnings report.

Even Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT) and other chip equipment makers rose despite Micron’s plans to slash capital spending, as investors seized on Micron’s comments that it has cut capital expenditures about as much as it can.

The broader market rose despite reports detailing falling consumer spending and rising jobless claims, as traders hoped that post-Christmas discounts would lure shoppers following the worst holiday sales season in decades.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) was up a fraction on news that it will be added to the S&P 100.

Seagate (NYSE: STX) lost 5% on news of a pending impairment charge, and Palm (NASDAQ: PALM) gave back some of its gains after a two-day rally on a $100 million cash infusion.

The Nasdaq gained 3 to 1524, the S&P added 5 to 868, and the Dow rose 48 to 8468. Breadth was positive and volume light.

Note: The Market Close will return on January 5.

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