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The Nasdaq Now: Tech Stocks Lead Nasdaq to Near 12-Year High


Apple and Facebook are both up in midday trading.

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Reassuring news from the European Central Bank and a much better-than-expected August jobs report boosted US equities in mid-Thursday trading, with the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) up 2.08% to 3,133.09 as of 12:14 p.m. EDT on trading volume of 902.53 million, putting the index within reach of a 12-year high.

"The market took the news in a positive vein; now we're off to the races," Stephen Carl, head equity trader at Williams Capital Group, told the Wall Street Journal.

News of a shortage in NAND Flash memory chip boosted tech stocks, especially shares of semiconductor companies Micron (MU) (7.75% to $6.67) and SanDisk (SNDK) (+8.33% to $43.98).

Another leading gainer is Orexigen Therapeutics (OREX), up 10.69% to $5.44 after Credit Suisse initiated coverage of the biotech firm with an outperform rating.

Nasdaq volume leader Facebook (FB) is also up 1.83% to $18.92, despite news earlier that Twitter is projected to beat the more established social network in mobile ad revenue.

Apple (AAPL) climbed 0.61% to $674.32. Stern Agree's Shaw Wu reiterated his Buy rating on the tech giant, citing the strength of the iPhone 5 and the likelihood of an iPad mini.

Bucking the bullish trend is data storage firm OCZ Technology Group (OCZ), down a sharp 22.05% to $4.18. Analysts expect OCZ's fiscal second-quarter revenue to fall short of its earlier guidance due to supply issues.

Warner Chilcott (WCRX) is also down 9.58% to $12.83, after the company announced that some of its senior management, as well as funds linked to Bain Capital Partners, JPMorgan Partners, and Thomas H. Lee Partners, are selling an undisclosed number of the branded drugmaker's shares.

Twitter: @sterlingwong
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