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TECH STOCKS: Netflix, Novell Advances Lead Tech Action

By Rex Crum SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- A new subscription service from Netflix Inc. and a $2.2 billion buyout offer for Novell Inc. helped lift those companies' shares on Monday, but events outside the sector dampened enthusiasm for investors. Netflix (NFLX) rose as much as 8%, to an all-time high of $187.41, after the company said it would begin offering a streaming-only video-subscription plan in the U.S. for $7.99 a month. Netflix also said it would raise the base price of its standard DVD-and-streaming combination plan to $9.99 a month from $8.99 for unlimited monthly rentals and one DVD rental at a time. Other rental plan prices will also increase. Novell (NOVL) shares rose 37 cents, or 6.6%, to $5.96 after the business-software maker agreed to be acquired by Attachmate Corp., a private-equity firm, for $2.2 billion, or $6.10 a share. SanDisk Corp. (SNDK) stock rose $2 a share, or 5%, to $41.99 after R.W. Baird analyst Tristan Gerra raised his rating on the flash-memory developer to outperform from neutral and lifted his price target to $56 a share from $42. Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) shares rose 3 cents to $42.53 ahead of the company's quarterly results, due after the market close. Wedbush Moragn analyst Kashuik Roy raised his rating on H-P's stock to outperform from neutral, saying in a research note that he believes the company's management team is "operationally very strong." Other gains came from Apple Inc. (AAPL), Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE), Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN) and Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM). However, the Nasdaq Composite Index (RIXF) fell 3 points to 2,514, while the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) edged up slightly and the Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (MSH) managed a small gain.

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