Palm, Rambus Gain as Tech Stocks Stall

Palm (NASDAQ: PALM) shares continued to gain on takeover speculation on Friday, while Rambus (NASDAQ: RMBS) was another big winner.

Palm was up 8.6% on top of a 12% gain on Thursday, as investors believe the company could be a takeover target for Dell (NASDAQ: DELL). Palm shares have soared from a low of $1.14 in December to close at $14.58 today on optimism that the company could turn around its sagging fortunes.

Competitors Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) fell on fears that the government could tax business cell phone use.

Rambus (NASDAQ: RMBS) jumped 15% on reports that the company has lowered royalties to reach a settlement with the EU. Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) gained 2.2% after settling its own issues with Europe.

Symantec (NASDAQ: SYMC) gained 3.8% on upbeat comments, but National Semi (NYSE: NSM) slumped 6% on its results.

The broader market continued to stall at its highs for the year, as the Nasdaq ended the day fractionally lower.

The Nasdaq lost 3 to 1858, the S&P 500 gained 1 to 946, and the Dow added 28 to 8799. Volume fell to 4.51 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.05 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 22-14 margin on the NYSE, and 16-10 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 54% on the NYSE, and 61% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 50-87 on the NYSE, and 30-10 on the Nasdaq.

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