Chip Stocks Power Even Higher on Renewed Faith in Global Semiconductor Sales

U.S. chipmaking stocks were stronger in pre-market trading, following solid gains for their European peers, after record semiconductor sales over the month of November suggested solid demand for component suppliers and hardware providers over the holiday season.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), a lobby group, said Tuesday that global chip sales hit a record $37.7 billion in November, up 21.5% from the same period last year, and 1.6% from the previous month. The moves following an all-time high close for the Nasdaq composite index, which topped the 7,000 mark last night following solid gains from Apple Inc. (AAPL) . Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) and Facebook Inc.  (FB) .

"The global semiconductor industry reached another key milestone in November, notching its highest-ever monthly sales, and appears poised to reach $400 billion in annual sales for the first time," said SIA President John Neuffer. "Global market growth continues to be led by sales of memory products, but sales of all other major semiconductor categories also increased both month-to-month and year-to-year in November.

"All regional markets also experienced growth in November, with the Americas continuing to post the strongest gains," Neuffer added.

Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) shares were indicated 1.83% higher in pre-market trading, suggesting an opening bell price of $203 each, a move that would extend the stock's three-month gain to around 13.5%. Rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) was also trading firmly to the upside, rising 1.6% in pre-market to take its two-day gain to around 8.5% if it opens at its indicated price of $11.16 each.

In Europe, the region's biggest chipmaker, Infineon Technologies AG (IFNNY) gained 1.82% to trade at €23.53, the highest in a month, while AMS AG (AMSSY) surged 5.71% to change hands at €93.50.

The solid November sales could ease some of the market's concern last month that disappointing demand may force Apple to trim estimates for shipments of its flagship iPhone X, which launched in early November with a price  tag of just under $1,000.

Data earlier this week from South Korea's Trade Ministry has also boosted sentiment in the sector, with officials forecasting that semiconductor exports will "slightly rise" in the year ahead thanks to robust demand and modest limits in supply.

Apple shares have fallen around 2.25% since the iPhone X launch, but were indicated 0.23% higher in pre-market trading with an opening price at $172.66.

Apple, Nvidia, Facebook and Alphabet are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stocks? Learn more now.

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