5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

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Fire At China Plant Could Further Restrict DRAM Chip Supplies

As if PC makers weren't already having a difficult year, a fire at a manufacturing plant in China that accounts for 10 percent of the world's DRAM wafer production could make life even more difficult.

The plant, owned by SK Hynix of South Korea, was hit by a fire late Wednesday, and it's unclear how long production will be disrupted. But, spot market prices for DRAM chips immediately jumped 20 percent after news of the fire got out. And, several memory chip suppliers put shipments on hold until the extent of the fire is better known.

Global supplies of DRAM chips are already constricted, and the fire could make it even harder for manufacturers of PCs, tablet computers and smartphones to get the components they need. Higher prices for the chips could force the manufacturers to hike their own prices.

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