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

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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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