Pulse: Tech Stocks Realize There's Nothing to Be Glum About, and Rally - TheStreet

Pulse: Tech Stocks Realize There's Nothing to Be Glum About, and Rally

An afternoon rise puts the Nasdaq above 4000 two sessions straight. Even Handspring's IPO works well.
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A late buying spree helped tech shares stage a modest rally and allowed the

Nasdaq

to close above the 4000 level for the second straight session.

The Nasdaq ended the day up 50.65, or 1.26%, at 4064.01, gathering steam after traders came back from lunch around 2 p.m. A rally in

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

helped. The stock was upgraded by

CIBC World Markets

to buy from hold after a judge decided not to impose restrictions on the company while its case is appealed. It finished up 5 3/4, or 7.7%, at 80 11/16.

The market got off to a tough start on losses in

Oracle

(ORCL) - Get Report

after it was downgraded by

Merrill Lynch

following its earnings report last night. But by the end of the session, Oracle, like the rest of the market, had righted itself and closed up 5/32, or 0.2% at 86 3/16. It had traded as low as 80 5/16 early in the session.

Traders bought into the early dip, as sentiment grew more positive following the Nasdaq's break out of the top of its range at 3900 Monday to close above the 4000 level yesterday. The mood has brightened as data suggest the

Federal Reserve

will not raise interest rates next week. In addition, with many of the other segments of the market suffering of late, tech is being seen as the best place for investors to put their money.

Among other stocks in the news,

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

closed down 5 3/16, or 3.5%, at 142 13/16 after

Lehman Brothers

initiated coverage of the Net portal with a neutral rating due to concerns about a slowdown in Internet advertising. Lehman began coverage of

America Online

(AOL)

with a more favorable outperform rating, but it still closed down 7/8, or 1.5%, at 57.

One stock benefiting from an analyst's recommendation was

Akamai

(AKAM) - Get Report

, which closed up 21 3/8, or 23%, at 115 3/8 after

Chase H&Q

initiated coverage of the stock with a buy rating and price target of $175 to $180.

Finally, the market may have been cheered somewhat by the performance of

Handspring

(HAND)

in its first day of trading. The hand-held computer maker closed up 6 15/16, or 35%, at 26 15/16. Though it was not a triple-digit percentage gain like some of the hotter IPOs last year, the performance was seen as positive, considering market conditions for new offerings.