Red Hat, SanDisk Gain as Stocks Fall

Stocks capped their worst week in two months on a down note Friday, but Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) and SanDisk (NASDAQ: SNDK) posted solid gains on analyst upgrades.

Red Hat shares surged nearly 10% after Jefferies analyst Katherine Egbert said the company could become a takeover target for IBM (NYSE: IBM) as the company faces greater competition from Solaris in the merger of Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) and Sun (NASDAQ: JAVA).

SanDisk shares rose 6% after ThinkEquity said the company could benefit from rising NAND prices and inventory restocking.

But the rest of the chip sector was weak, led lower by AMD (NYSE: AMD) and Micron (NYSE: MU), as economic fears shaved 5% off major stock indexes this week.

Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) rose 4% on Blockbuster’s (NYSE: BBI) woes.

Pansoft (NASDAQ: PSOF) fell 17% a day after soaring 36% on its results.

Despite the market decline, a number of tech names ended the day higher, including Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM), Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) and Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), which will report its quarterly results in two weeks.

The big event for the tech sector next week will likely be HP’s (NYSE: HPQ) results due out after the close on Tuesday.

The Nasdaq lost 9 to 1680, the S&P 500 fell 10 to 882, and the Dow lost 62 to 8268. Volume declined to 5.44 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.12 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 24-13 margin on the NYSE, and 16-10 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 80% on the NYSE, and 51% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 6-43 on the NYSE, and 6-47 on the Nasdaq.

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