STEC Plunges as Stocks Rebound

Stocks regained lost ground on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reassured Congress that interest rates will remain low for an extended period, but STEC (NASDAQ: STEC) investors weren’t nearly as lucky.

STEC shares plunged 23 percent after the solid state drive maker sharply lowered its sales outlook amid persistently high inventories at its largest customer, EMC (NYSE: EMC).

But the rest of the market rebounded nearly 1 percent after Bernanke eased fears that last week’s surprise interest rate increase by the Fed was the start of a period of significant tightening by the central bank.

AutoDesk (NASDAQ: ADSK) was a standout, jumping nearly 9 percent on better than expected quarterly results.

Micron (NYSE: MU) was a big gainer, up 5.6 percent, after Gartner issued an upbeat outlook for the chip sector.

But Palm (NASDAQ: PALM) shares slipped again amid reports of soft smartphone sales at Verizon (NYSE: VZ).

Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) lost 4 percent.

After the close, (NYSE: CRM) added 1 percent after the company beat profit estimates.

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