By Rex Crum Tech stocks appeared headed toward closing out the month in a rocky session on Tuesday, with the likes of Apple Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. going back and forth and unable to find any consistent direction. The Nasdaq Composite Index (RIXF) had a hard time keeping any positive momentum, falling 2.5 points to 2,117. The tech-heavy market gauge is down about 6% for the month. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) and the Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (MSH) both dipped into the red. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index has shed almost 11%. The Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 gauge is down 6.4%. Apple (AAPL) rose 16 cents a share to $242.66, a day ahead of an event in San Francisco in which the company is expected to unveil new models and features of some of its iPod digital media players. Apple's iPod unit sales have been declining, but revenue from the devices is up as more customers have bought higher-end models like the iPod touch, which uses WiFi technology to connect to the Internet. H-P (HPQ) edged up by 13 cents a share to $38.51. The company is awaiting if Dell Inc. (DELL) plans to counter or raise H-P's $30-a-share offer for 3Par Inc. (PAR), which the data-storage company has said it plans to accept. Dell shares were down 16 cents at $11.86, while 3Par was off by 21 cents a share at $31.62. Before the market opened, technology research firm Gartner Inc. released a report saying it expects worldwide PC sales to rise 19% in 2010, to a total of 367.8 million units. Gartner said sales growth is likely to slow in down through the second half of the year. Among other tech stocks, gains came from EMC Corp. (EMC), IBM Corp. (IBM), Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN) and Google Inc. (GOOG). Decliners included Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM), which fell $1.80 a share, or almost 4%, to $43.85. Before the market opened, analyst James Faucette at Pacific Crest said in a research note that RIM's new BlackBerry Torch smartphone has failed to boost the company's sales at AT&T Inc. (T), which is the exclusive Torch carrier in the U.S. Also, Bernstein Research analyst Pierre Ferragu cut his estimates and lowered his price target on RIM's stock to $40 a share from $55, saying the company is facing more threats from Apple's iPhone and smartphones running on Google's Android operating system. Hutchinson Technology Inc. (HTCH) shares fell 36 cents, or more than 10%, to $3.09 a day after the maker of suspension assemblies for hard-disk drives rose almost 30%.