The stock market was narrowly mixed on Monday, with the Dow and S&P 500 both giving up slight amounts of ground. For many stocks, though, today's gains were enough to send them to their best levels in a year or more. Among those winners today were Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU), Zillow (NASDAQ:ZG), and PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG).
Micron Technology rose more than 4.5% today, as an internationally renowned analyst firm added its name to the list of bullish investors on the memory-chip stock. Micron has benefited greatly from the huge demand for flash memory in smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, and its purchase last year of Japanese rival Elpida put it in position to serve some of the most lucrative customers in the tech industry. After a long and painful price war for several years, the all-pervasive presence of memory in mobile products, as well as the rise of solid-state drives to replace slower and less efficient traditional hard-disk drives, have helped the entire industry recover.With pricing for both more commodity-like DRAM as well as higher-value NAND flash memory seen as continuing to be strong at least for the near future, Micron has plenty of room to keep rising, especially if it can renegotiate contracts with customers to reflect higher current prices for chips.
Zillow jumped almost 3% as the online real-estate information provider announced that it had signed up another partner for its partnership program. MLSListings of Northern California will bring some valuable real estate into the Zillow mix, including much of the Bay Area south of San Francisco and along the coast near Monterey. The deal offers Zillow quicker updates on information from the MLS listings provided by the real-estate brokerage, and in return, MLSListings brokers will get higher-profile displays indicating that they're the listing agents on the properties in their listing portfolios and will get leads from Zillow's request screens. As Zillow's network expands, the network effect gains in value, and that could help Zillow's growth going forward.
PPG Industries climbed 3% as maker of paints and other coatings agreed to pay $2.3 billion to buy Mexican peer Consorcio Comex. The move should help PPG in its efforts to gain global scope for its products, as Comex has an extensive business that covers several markets in Mexico and Central America. With PPG arguing that the deal would boost its earnings immediately after accounting for one-time acquisition costs, investors liked the prospects of the expansion.