RIM Paces Tech Advance

Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) led tech stocks higher on a day that saw continued volatility in financial shares.

RIM shares gained more than 5% on excitement about the company’s new products.

Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN) gained only 0.6% despite saying it will hit its financial targets this quarter, but Micron (NYSE: MU) fared much better, surging 11% on an upbeat Wall Street Journal article.

International Rectifier (NYSE: IRF) rose 7% on a sweetened takeover offer from Vishay (NYSE: VSH).

Sirius XM (NASDAQ: SIRI) fell for a second day after lowering its outlook, closing below $1.

Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) rose more than 7% on news that it will replace Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) in the S&P 500.

But the Salesforce news was emblematic of the market’s biggest problem: the failure of some of the biggest pillars of the U.S. financial system. With Bear Stearns, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) rescued by the government, investors continued to fret that Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH) and Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM) could be next, fears that a $3.9 billion quarterly loss at Lehman did nothing to alleviate.

The result was a nearly 1% gain for the Nasdaq, with the Dow gaining less than half that.

The Nasdaq rose 18 to 2228, the S&P added 7 to 1232, and the Dow rose 38 to 11,268. Volume declined to 6.61 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.32 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 18-15 margin on the NYSE, and 16-12 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 51% on the NYSE, and 61% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 25-312 on the NYSE, and 41-233 on the Nasdaq.

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