Microsoft Upgrade Lifts Techs

A Microsoft upgrade and strength in the chip sector helped tech stocks post modest gains on Monday.

Credit Suisse upgraded Microsoft to outperform from neutral on the software giant’s digital entertainment and business software prospects. Microsoft shares gained 1.7% to a new 52-week high on the news.

Chip stocks were strong, with Broadcom and Novellus leading the way higher. Novellus will hold its mid-quarter update Dec. 4.

Netsmart gained 10% on a private equity takeover offer.

The Nasdaq stock market added 3% after its latest bid for the London Stock Exchange was rejected.

Sonus rose on a Piper Jaffray upgrade.

PacificNet fell on its results.

The broader market slumped Monday, as more news of falling home sales outweighed a number of mergers and a rise in leading indicators.

The Nasdaq rose 6 to 2452, the S&P 500 slipped 1 to 1400, and the Dow lost 26 to 12,316. Volume declined to 2.55 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.76 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 17-16 on the NYSE, and by a few issues on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 43% on the NYSE, and 67% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 308-18 on the NYSE, and 195-46 on the Nasdaq.

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