Apple Upgrades Lead Tech Stocks Higher

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) gained on upbeat comments from analysts on Monday, sending the rest of the tech sector higher.

Analysts from Broadpoint AmTech and Thomas Weisel raised their price targets on Apple, saying they believe iPhone sales are tracking ahead of estimates.

Broadpoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall said his iPhone sales estimate of 11.3 million units is nearly 30 percent above the Wall Street consensus estimate of 8.8 million, and his fourth-quarter earnings and revenue numbers on the company are also the highest on Wall Street.

“In our view, Apple remains the best technology company on the planet, and we are comfortable with our Street-high December ’09 estimates,” Marshall wrote.

Apple and Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) shares were up on the day, while Palm (NASDAQ: PALM) fell 3.7 percent.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) rose modestly on a Barclays note and the company’s own strong holiday sales report.

3Par (NYSE: PAR) gained 11 percent on takeover speculation.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) was up 1.3 percent on a positive Barron’s cover story, but chip stocks were weak, led lower by Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA), Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM) and TI (NYSE: TXN).

The Nasdaq rose 5 to 2291, the S&P 500 added 1 to 1127, and the Dow rose 26 to 10,547. Volume declined to 2.72 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.25 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 19-18 margin on the NYSE, and 16-11 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 53 percent on the NYSE, and 45 percent on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 501-73 on the NYSE, and 212-19 on the Nasdaq.

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