What Drove US and South Korean Semiconductor Stocks on March 21?



Semiconductor stocks are riding high

On March 21, US and South Korean semiconductor stocks surged after chip maker Micron Technology (MU) reported upbeat fiscal 2019 second-quarter results (for the period that ended on February 28, 2019) after the market bell on March 20.

Micron stock rose 9.62% to $43.99 on March 21. The company topped both earnings and revenue expectations in the second quarter. However, it gave a weaker-than-expected revenue forecast for the third quarter. Nevertheless, the company stated that the demand for memory chips would grow again in the fourth quarter.

Stock returns of peers

Micron’s better-than-expected earnings and the forecast for the recovery in memory chip demand have boosted investors’ confidence, signaling that the sell-off in the semiconductor space is over. The stocks of Micron’s peers NVIDIA (NVDA), Marvell (MRVL), Intel (INTC), and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) gained ~5.47%, 3.9%, 1.5%, and 8.52%, respectively, on March 21. The stock of Western Digital (WDC), a manufacturer of NAND memory chips, also spiked ~9.8% on March 21 following Micron’s earnings results.

Programmable logic maker Xilinx (XLNX) and MKS Instruments (MKSI), which makes semiconductor manufacturing equipment, also rose ~3% and 5.4%, respectively, on the day. South Korean semiconductor giant Samsung (SSNLF) and chip maker SK Hynix rose 4.09% and 7.66%, respectively, on the day.

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