Bolstered by optimism that a fiscal cliff-avoiding budget deal could be reached in time, US stocks climbed up in mid-Thursday trading. Positive housing data helped lift investor sentiment as well.
According to the National Association of Realtors, pending home sales surged to 5.2% in October, which is its highest level in over five years.
"Given the very high correlation between this indicator and actual existing home sales activity, we expect the pace of home sales in November to improve," said Millan Mulraine, senior US macro strategist at TD Securities, according to TheStreet
The Nasdaq Composite
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) was up 0.34% to 3,001.90 points on trading volume of 820.67 million as of 12:06 p.m. EST.
(NASDAQ:OCZ) was one of the top Nasdaq gainers, surging 25.92% to $1.70. The solid-state hard drive maker previously noted that it had a shortage of NAND chips, which it said would lead to lower second-quarter revenue, but the company said today that it has resolved the issue.
"Recently we haven't had any significant NAND supply issues, mostly because we diversified ourselves to multiple suppliers. That was part of the issue before. We were overly reliant on one supplier," new OCZ CEO Ralph Schmitt, who stepped in after in October after the resignation of co-founder Ryan Petersen, said in an interview, according to Reuters
Another strong performer in intraday trading was Research In Motion
(NASDAQ:RIMM), which leapt 5.86% to $11.75, hitting a six-month high in the process. The improvement was likely due to an upgrade to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs, which also upped its price target on the stock to $16 from $9. Goldman was upbeat about the upcoming BlackBerry 10.
“We now assess a 30% chance of success for BB10 given positive early reviews, broad-based carrier support, attractive features, and interest by carriers and consumers in broadening the field beyond Android/iOS,” wrote Simona Jankowski of Goldman in a note.
In the past two weeks, RIM had received upgrades from CIBC World Markets, Raymond James, National Bank and Jefferies as well.
The upward movement of RIM shares also came in spite of not-so-glowing comments about the company from Yahoo
(NASDAQ:YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer. In an interview with Fortune
published Tuesday, Mayer repeatedly said that she wanted her employees to move “from BlackBerries to smartphones,” implying that she does not consider BlackBerries to be smartphones, even though they actually are.
“One of the really important things for Yahoo’s strategy moving forward is mobile,” she said. “So it was really important that our engineers, our salespeople, really everyone throughout our whole organization really understand Android, iPhones, and, you know, Windows 8
(NASDAQ:MSFT) and really get a sense of what’s happening there and how to create an amazing experience… so we decided we wanted to get everyone upgraded to smartphones.”
Shares of Zynga
(NASDAQ:ZNGA) also advanced 3.19% to $2.59, while Apple
(NASDAQ:AAPL) also gained 0.72% to $587.15
Among decliners, Liquidity Services
(NASDAQ:LQDT) was among the hardest hit, plunging 17.33% to $36.15. The company posted larger-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter profits, but was weighed down by downbeat first quarter and full year earnings forecast. The company said full-year adjusted earnings would come in at $2.05 to $2.23 a share, when analysts had expected $2.20.
For its first quarter, the online marketplaces and services company projected profit of $0.36 to $0.40 a share, trailing estimates of $0.46.
(NASDAQ:STX) also eased 2.57% to $25.03. Premarket, Cleveland Research said that both Seagate and Western Digital
(NASDAQ:WDC) (-1.34%) have downside risk to Wall Street estimates.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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