Tech Trio Surprises to the Upside

Technology investors got some welcome news after the bell on Thursday, with Micron , Red Hat and Research in Motion all delivering better than expected quarterly results.

Improved pricing helped Micron’s earnings of 25 cents a share beat estimates by a nickel. Sales were up16% to $1.58 billion, just below $1.64 billion forecasts. Micron said it expects capital expenditures of $4 billion next year, with $1.5 billion coming from joint venture partners. Micron’s shares gained nearly 5% in after-hours trading.

RIM was another 5% gainer after hours after posting sales of $835 million, up 49% and $20 million better than expected. Earnings of 95 cents a share were a penny ahead of estimates.

Red Hat, meanwhile, celebrated its first quarter on the NYSE with 45% sales growth, beating $104 million estimates by $2 million, and earnings of 14 cents a share topped forecasts by two cents. The stock soared more than 10% in late trading.

Stocks sagged during the day on news that Mid-Atlantic manufacturing contracted again last month.

Accenture was a standout, gaining 4.5% after reporting better than expected results and guidance, while Jabil and Ultratech fell on their results.

PMC-Sierra lost 4% on its outlook.

Tut gained on news of a Motorola buyout.

The Nasdaq lost 11 to 2415, the S&P 500 fell 5 to 1418, and the Dow lost 42 to 12,421. Volume declined to 2.24 billion shares on the NYSE, and was unchanged at 1.81 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 19-13 on the NYSE, and 17-13 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 66% on the NYSE, and 65% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 187-16 on the NYSE, and 101-49 on the Nasdaq.

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