Stocks Rocket on RIM’s Results

Better than expected results from Research in Motion and a cash infusion for Merrill Lynch put investors in a festive mood on Friday.

Research in Motion soared 11% on better than expected results and guidance, the latest evidence that technology spending is surviving the six-month credit market meltdown. Coupled with Oracle’s blow-out results late Wednesday, the Nasdaq posted a two-day gain of 90 points, or more than 3%.

Red Hat shares gained 10% on 28% sales growth and a new CEO, and CSC was up 2% on its outlook.

NetSuite added another 10% to its stellar IPO, up nearly 50% in two days, and Check Point gained 6% on an upgrade.

But the sector had its share of struggles too. Micron shares fell 5% after the company reported a loss that showed that chip pricing remains tough, and Jabil plunged 21% after lowering guidance because of restructuring expenses.

Circuit City tumbled 28% on growing losses in a difficult pricing environment.

The Nasdaq gained 51 to 2691, the S&P rose 24 to 1484, and the Dow surged 205 to 13,450. Volume rose to 4.46 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.7 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led by a 25-8 margin on the NYSE, and 21-9 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 84% on the NYSE, and 78% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 100-207 on the NYSE, and 135-185 on the Nasdaq.

Note: The Market Close and Technical Analysis columns will return on Jan. 2. Happy holidays, and best wishes for a prosperous 2008.

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