NEW YORK (
) -- A wealth of healthy buying in recent weeks led a variety of blue chips to hit fresh
on Thursday -- some for the second, third and even fourth consecutive session -- including technology darling
and Dow Jones industrial average components
Jim Cramer told the viewers of his
TV show last week the
tells us everything we need to know about the market, though it's not the number of companies hitting 52-week highs that's important, it's the number of industries represented on the list.
He explained that just a month ago, there were only three industries on the list, and they represented people's fears of the market. But today, there's an astounding 25 different industries represented, a diverse swath of our economy.
Ranked by volume, the most heavily-traded stock to hit a 52-week high Thursday was
Las Vegas Sands
. The hotel and casino operator saw its shares bid up to $33.65 on Thursday, a new annual height.
gained to $20.98 on Thursday. The computer storage device maker said it was "commended for the fourth consecutive year by the Carbon Disclosure Project for its thorough and transparent climate change disclosure."
Shares of Apple rose to another 52-week high of $292.76 on Thursday, after pushing its annual boundary higher in each of the prior three trading sessions as well.
The stock's push higher was thanks in part to an
analyst report from Kaufman Bros. earlier this week that suggested strong iPad sales could lift Apple's quarterly results above Wall Street's current expectations. Analyst Shaw Wu raised his price target on Apple shares to $374, from $350. Caris reiterated a buy rating on the tech stock and raised its price target to $375, from $325.
Chinese language search engine
pushed up to another 52-week high Thursday, reaching $95.17, topping previous annual heights set earlier this week.
. The Internet stock is
largest competitor in China.
shares jumped by double digit percentages to a new 52-week high of $41.48 on Thursday, its highest intraday price in more than a decade, settling up about 9% to $40.05. The open-source software provider booked better-than-expected fiscal second-quarter adjusted profits of 19 cents per share. Sales rose 20% to $219.8 million, also topping expectations.
pushed up to a fresh 52-week high of $7.52 on Thursday,
. Atmel stands to benefit from the rising popularity of tablet computers, including Apple's iPad.
DVD-by-mail retailer Netflix rose to a 52-week high of $163.72 on Thursday,
. The gain was driven in part by news that
>>Blockbuster's Rise and Fall: The Long, Rewinding Road
, the maker of consumer and foodservice/food packaging, pushed up to $32.84 on Thursday,
shares gained to $26.57, surpassing annual heights set earlier this week.
was another repeat performer this week. The earth-moving equipment maker's shares rose to a fresh 52-week high of $77.50 on Thursday,
that showed the quickest monthly growth for the company in more than a year, especially in its Latin American and U.S. markets. Then Monday the manufacturing bellwether announced a $640 million five-year deal with the Pentagon to supply tractors and scrapers to the Marine Corps and the Army.
shares pushed up to another annual height Thursday, gaining to $28.
The drive higher was helped in part by Bristol-Myers, along with
, announcing progress made in a double blind Phase 3 clinical study of diabetes investigational drug dapagliflozin.
gained to $155.92 on Thursday, topping heights reached in Monday and Tuesday's sessions this week. The firm's Amazon Web Services, along with billionaire Larry Ellison-run
, announced that a wide selection of Oracle enterprise software has been certified to run on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) using Oracle VM virtualization.
pushed up to $16.58 Thursday after the software maker posted better-than-expected adjusted fiscal third-quarter profits of 17 cents per share on revenue of $184.5 million.
bid up to an annual height of $20.65, topping the $19.99 it hit in Wednesday's trading session.
Skyworks raised its financial outlook for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 given broad-based improvements in order demand.
bid up to $27.18 on Thursday after the used car retailer beat quarterly earnings expectations by 8 cents per share, booking profits of 48 cents per share.
shares gained to $23.24 on Thursday, a fresh 52-week high. The biotech firm continued its run up following the approval of Krystexxa, and on takeover speculation. The company indicated in would seek a buyout after tghe approval of the gout drug.
saw its share price gain to $45.02 Thursday, topping heights set in each preceding session this week.
The chemical maker said Monday it and
signed a settlement agreement to resolve three existing lawsuits between the companies.
-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.
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