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Thursday's Tech Winners & Losers

Several big semiconductor stocks rise after upgrades by an analyst.

Tech stocks traded higher Thursday with semiconductor stocks leading the way as many big names in the sector bagged upgrades from an analyst at Bank of America.

Shares of

Yahoo!

(YHOO)

TST Recommends

gathered steam following a report in the

Wall Street Journal

that it

may be close

to merging its online operations with

Time Warner's

(TWX)

AOL in a bid to rebuff

Microsoft's

(MSFT) - Get Report

unsolicited offer for the company.

Microsoft, which has made a $31-a-share offer for Yahoo!, is not sitting idle. It is reportedly talking to

News Corp.

(NWS) - Get Report

to partner on its Yahoo! bid.

Yahoo!'s stock rose 85 cents, or 3.1%, to $28.62. Microsoft was up 34 cents, or $1.2%, to $29.23.

LSI

(LSI) - Get Report

added 37 cents, or 6.7%, to $5.70 after Sumit Dhanda, an analyst at Bank of America upgraded the stock to neutral from sell.

Inventory buildup and lack of top line growth amid loss of market share has now been baked into the analyst's operating margins forecast for LSI and is reflected better in the stock's price at its current valuation, he said.

National Semiconductor

(NSM)

also gained $1.33, or 6.8%, to $20.77 following an upgrade to neutral from sell by Dhanda, the BofA analyst.

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

added 91 cents, or 4.3%, to $22.33 after it was upgraded to buy from neutral by Dhanda.

Analog Devices

(ADI) - Get Report

rose $1.62, or 5.4%, to $31.63 after an upgrade to buy from neutral by Dhanda.

Shares of

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Report

stayed strong despite news that two of Europe's largest chip companies,

ST Micro

(STM) - Get Report

and

NXP

will

combine their wireless chip business

that could put the new combined entity in competition with TI. TI shares were up 89 cents, or 3%, to $30.41