Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of solid-state storage specialist STEC (Nasdaq: STEC) delivered a solid overnight return to its shareholders today, jumping as high as 12.5% after a strong earnings report.

So what: Once heavily dependent on orders from EMC (NYSE: EMC), STEC now grows comfortably on the shoulders of SSD storage array builders not named EMC. This broadening of STEC's business model inspired at least two analyst upgrades this morning, and I wouldn't be surprised to see more as the day rolls along.

Now what: Storage systems vendors of every stripe are warming up to SSD technologies, and many are incorporating solid-state drives as part of larger, disk-based boxes. This helps STEC and its SSD rivals ramp up their importance to the industry in a way that doesn't kill IT managers by sticker-shock-induced heart attacks. Either this quarter or the next could mark the tipping point where SSD storage becomes a standard part of the enterprise IT vocabulary.

Interested in more info on STEC? Add it to your watchlist by clicking here.