Updated from 12:56 p.m. EDT

Tech stocks were higher Wednesday after analysts offered bullish outlooks for a couple of big names and investors grew more optimistic about a potential merger.

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

edged up 1% after a UBS analyst upped his price target and fourth-quarter, fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2009 earnings estimates for the stock.

According to

Barron's

, analyst Ben Reitez raised his fourth-quarter earnings expectations to 81 cents a share, up from 79. He lifted his fiscal 2008 earnings forecast to $4.47 a share, from $4.39, and set fiscal 2009 at $5.30 a share. He lifted his price target to $182, from $175. Reitez attributed his more optimistic view to expected greater iPhone sales after last week's price cut and the upgraded "touch" iPod. Shares gained $1.36 to close at $136.85.

IT consultant

Cognizant Technology Solutions

(CTSH) - Get Report

gained 2.2% after Bernstein upgraded the stock to outperform from market perform. Shares closed higher by $1.48 to $69.90.

XM Satellite Radio

( XMSR) and

Sirius Satellite Radio

(SIRI) - Get Report

were both up around 7% Wednesday morning, as

optimism for a potential merger grew.

RealMoney.com's

Jim Cramer said on

CNBC

that he spoke with Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin and expects the proposed merger between the two companies -- which federal regulators have scrutinized and the broadcast radio industry has fought -- to go through. A Cowen analyst also said the prospects for the merger are "the best ever." XM shares closed up 59 cents, or 4.3%, to $14.21, while Sirius closed up 11 cents, or 3.3%, to $3.42.

Apple, Cognizant, XM and Sirius are all components of the Nasdaq 100, which was about flat at 1988.96.

User interface component designer

Synaptics

(SYNA) - Get Report

jumped 3.8%, after a Bear Stearns analyst speculated the company's touch pad technology has been included in Apple's new iPod lines, according to

Barron's

. While the company has not disclosed a relationship with Apple, the analyst came to his conclusion after looking at a breakdown of the new product on the Web site

iFixit. Shares rose $1.58 to close at $42.73.

On the losing side,

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Report

was down 1.7% after disappointing investors by

tightening third-quarter guidance Tuesday after the bell. The chipmaker said it expected revenue between $3.56 billion and $3.72 billion, compared to its previous outlook of $3.49 billion and $3.79 billion.

TI upped its earnings outlook to the range of 49 cents to 53 cents a share, from 46 cents to 52 cents a share. Shares, however, closed down 60 cents to $35.12.

Business-software maker

Macrovision

( MVSN) was sliding 8.3% after Jeffries downgraded the stock to hold from buy. Shares fell $2.06 to close at $22.85.