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SAN Market Sings

Public companies in the storage networking segment soared in afternoon trading today. As this went to press, shares of leading firms were trading as follows:

The surge reflected a trend up in technology stocks in general. In late afternoon trading, the Nasdaq was up by 37.3 points to 2064.43. But SAN stocks outsurged most others, particularly in the case of Network Appliance.

The upswing may be helped by rumors circulating at a storage conference this week in Boston. "There's a lot of good noise in the storage space here," one source reports from the floor. "Network Appliance says business has picked up, and Brocade is feeling comfortable with the quarter."

Analysts pinpoint the surge to the growing interest in networked storage. "The switch market in general seems to be holding up pretty well in this tough environment," says Shaw Wu of Banc of America Securities LLC. He reiterates news that Brocade's CEO, Greg Reyes, also recently expressed to analysts his comfort with their expectations for this quarter. The company has made no official announcement, however.

Today's figures may be a sight for sore eyes, but SAN stocks have a ways to go before reaching anything like the levels they maintained prior to the market downturn that began in the first three months of 2001. And the good news wasn't universal. Some stocks -- such as those of Inrange Technologies Corp. (Nasdaq: INRG), trading at $12.09, up 0.04 (33%) -- were relatively untouched by the flurry.