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 Dutch chip designer NXP Semiconductors (Nasdaq: NXPI) jumped more than 12% in early trading today on relatively high "volume."

So what: When I say "volume," I'm talking about sound waves: NXP just sold its audio products division to manufacturing giant Dover (NYSE: DOV). The $855 million sale will create an audio components powerhouse in Dover's Knowles Electronics division while shoring up NXP's debt-heavy balance sheet significantly.

Now what: NXP has jumped several times in December, but mostly because of its involvement with near field communications (NFC) technologies. The fact that NXP is simplifying its business may point to a heavier focus on NFC and the mobile handset market. The former semiconductor segment of electronics stalwart Philips (NYSE: PHG) has seen its shares rise by 67% in December. Is the NFC promise big enough to support these prices? We'll know when Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and others start rolling out their NFC-enabled handsets in 2011.

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