RealTime IT News

A Day For Upgrades

Tech stocks posted modest gains on Friday, as upgrades to several names buoyed the market despite a weak earnings report from GE .

Chip stocks led the way with a 1.2% gain on upgrades to Applied Materials , Intel and Texas Instruments .

Merrill Lynch added AMAT to its Focus 1 list, predicting growth of 25% or better for the sector next year and carrying over into 2005, and Deutsche Bank upgraded Intel and Texas Instruments. Intel reports earnings on Tuesday.

Network Appliance climbed 5% on comments from Lehman Brothers that strong business and market share gains at the network storage company could lead to better than expected results.

The Nasdaq rose 3 to 1915, the S&P 500 slipped fractionally to 1038, and the Dow lost 5 to 9674. Volume fell to 1.11 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.47 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 17-14 on the NYSE, but decliners led 16-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 51% on the NYSE, and 59% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 277-7 on the NYSE, and 220-12 on the Nasdaq.

Juniper fell 4% despite beating and raising estimates. Analysts said they were pleased to see earnings stability, but wanted to see more growth.

Rambus rose 2.7% even as the FTC continues to pursue its antitrust case against the chipmaker.

Palm rose 2% as its plan to acquire Handspring took a step forward.

Cisco and IBM finished mix after trading up in the morning on a partnership.

Compuware fell 5% on a warning.

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