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Wall Street Beat: Tech stocks stay aloft, but signals are mixed for 2014

Marc Ferranti | Dec. 16, 2013
Chip companies look for new opportunities, while the end of XP support and a leveling off of tablet sales could help PC market.

There was good news this week as well. Growth in LTE networks around the world is helping some networking, chip and hardware vendors, according to several research notes this week from Canaccord Genuity. In a report on Apple, Canaccord analyst Michael Walkley reiterated his "buy" rating and raised his target share price for Apple to $600 from $580.

"We believe the imminent TD-LTE iPhone launch with the world's largest carrier China Mobile could bolster March Q iPhone sales and offset some of the anticipated sharp decline in iPhone sales post the holiday selling season," Walkley wrote. "Given these trends, we have increased our F2014 and F2015 iPhone unit estimates. "

Canaccord also reiterated its "buy" rating on chip maker Broadcom after the vendor's analyst day Tuesday. An LTE deal with Samsung "Should drive meaningful revenue in 2014 and expectations for double-digit growth for Networking and Infrastructure," analyst Bobby Burleson said in a research note.

In the PC arena, the steep decline in units shipped this year should level off in 2014 as demand improves in emerging markets, according to Morgan Stanley Research.

The biggest drag on the PC market this year was a decline in demand in emerging markets. But as a surge in interest in tablets in both emerging and developed economies levels off, and Microsoft support for XP ends next year, spurring sales of new machines, the abrupt drop in demand for PCs should ease, Morgan Stanley said. Though the company still predicts a 4 percent drop in units shipped, that would be better than the 10 percent decline this year.

The stock market ended mostly flat this week as the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 declined for the second week in a row. The Nasdaq Computer Index also declined, closing at 1968.00, down from its 1999.84 close last Friday. Still, tech stocks are at their highest point since the third quarter of 2000 and are up about 26 percent for the year.


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