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TECH STOCKS: Techs Eke Gain As Apple Rises; TI Sinks

By Benjamin Pimentel The technology sector eked modest gains Wednesday, bouncing back from the red, as shares of Texas Instruments Inc. fell on what likely was a wave of profit-taking, analysts said. After struggling earlier in the day, the Nasdaq Composite Index (RIXF) gained 0.5% to close at 2,184. TI was in the spotlight after the Dallas-based chip giant (TXN) narrowed its earnings outlook late Tuesday, pointing to a strong fourth quarter, but some analysts said investors' expectations may have been overheated. "I think the sentiment has gone a bit too high," Wedbush analyst Patrick Wang said in a telephone interview Tuesday, noting that the stock's decline after the company's midquarter update may have been due to investors taking profits. In a note Wednesday, Wang wrote that TI management "continues to flawlessly execute on its analog/embedded strategy, driving share gains and outsized growth in today's recovering economy." Shares of TI fell 1.3% to close at $25.99. TI's downward trajectory had set the tone for the sector, but stocks recovered as the day ended. The Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (MSH) rose 0.7%, while the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) added 0.6%. There were some bright spots. Shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL) gained 4.2% after an Oppenheimer analyst said the consumer-electronics maker is ramping up production on a much-anticipated tablet. RealNetworks Inc. (RNWK) saw its shares rise more than 15% after J.P. Morgan upgraded the digital-media firm's stock to neutral from underweight, citing a better-than-expected ruling in its arbitration with VeriSign Inc. (VRSN) VeriSign was down 1.2%. Rambus Inc. (RMBS) rose more than 3% after the chip-design company reached a settlement with the European Commission in a dispute over patent royalties.

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