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Late Rally Features Brocade

Brocade is boosted as storage stocks fluctuate

Early theories that storage networking companies might benefit from last Tuesdays tragic events looked increasingly unlikely Wednesday morning.

Despite an anticipated rise in demand for storage gear due to disaster recovery efforts, stocks in the sector fell today. By midday, most of the storage players hit 12-month lows on the Nasdaq composite index.

Hardest hit was McData Corp. (Nasdaq: MCDT), whose shares fell 12.27 percent to $9.65 by early afternoon. By 2:45 PM EST, EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) dropped 5.35 percent to $12.21; Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) fell 3.66 percent to $9.20; and Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) lost 8.46 percent to post a share price of $20.03.

At first, even an upgrade of Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD) by brokerage firm First Albany Corp. didn't help, as Brocade's stock dropped just after the market opened.

Then came a slight rally: Brocade climbed 7.93 percent, to close at $19.19 a share. Other stocks also bounced back -- although not as well as Brocade. McData closed at $11.45, down .45 percent; EMC closed at $12.60, down 2.33 percent; Network Appliance closed at $9.29, down 2.72 percent; and Veritas closed at $22.14, up 1.19 percent.

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