Techs Rise On Upgrades

Tech stocks broke a six-day losing streak after brokerage firms upgraded several names.

Topping the list was Oracle , which gained 3.5% on a Merrill Lynch upgrade based on valuation. Oracle’s stock had fallen 15% since it made a hostile takeover bid for PeopleSoft on June 6.

Oracle extended its offer for PeopleSoft on Friday.

Oracle is well-positioned to benefit from an economic recovery, Merrill said, with 40% of its revenues coming from the telecom, financial services and government sectors. Merrill set a $15 price target on the stock.

Also benefiting from upgrades were Adobe and Broadcom . Broadcom rose 3.5% on a valuation upgrade; the stock had slid 30% since releasing disappointing earnings last month. Adobe gained 4.5% on Piper Jaffray comments that the company will benefit from several new product releases in coming months.

The broader market posted modest gains ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting tomorrow. No change in interest rates is expected.

The Nasdaq rose 17 to 1661, the S&P 500 climbed 3 to 980, and the Dow rose 26 to 9217. Volume declined to 1.02 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.21 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 19-12 on the NYSE, and 19-11 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 64% on the NYSE, and 79% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 98-14 on the NYSE, and 107-10 on the Nasdaq.

Applied Materials gained 2.5% ahead of earnings tomorrow night. Dell , up 1%, reports Thursday.

RealNetworks surged 13% on a deal with Sprint PCS .

EarthLink gained 5% on a deal with Circuit City .

HP slipped after losing Lego’s business to IBM .

AskJeeves edged higher on a new advertising focus.

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