Technology stocks were up Monday, along with the major market indices, as Amazon ( AMZN) and Apple ( AAPL) emerged as the leaders of the sector's rally. Shares of Amazon jumped $9.37, or 11.6%, to $89.90 on speculation that its Kindle electronic book reader is likely to be a big hit among consumers. Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney sparked off the buzz with his note that said he expects Kindle's unit sales to be twice as high as his original estimate. Mahaney expects 380,000 devices to be sold in 2008, up from 190,000 forecast earlier. Apple gained $6.20, or 3.6%, to $175.75 following comments by CEO Steve Jobs said that more than 60 million applications for the iPhone have been downloaded, so far, and the company has gained $30 million in revenue. Apple hopes iPhone apps will contribute about $360 million in new revenue a year. IAC/Interactive ( IACI) was up 91 cents, or 4.9%, to $19.47 after it said the company's plan to split itself into five parts will be completed on Aug. 21. IAC plans to spin off HSN shopping network, Ticketmaster, Interval, and LendingTree into four companies, each of which will trade on the Nasdaq. Graphics chip maker Nvidia ( NVDA) was up 41 cents, or 3.7%, to $11.41, a day ahead of its second-quarter results. Analysts are expecting earnings of 12 cents a share on revenue of $908.4 million during the quarter, compared with earnings of 34 cents a share on revenue of $935.3 million, the year before.
Qwest Communications ( Q) added 25 cents, or 6.6%, to $4.06 after Citi Investment Research analyst Michael Rollins upgraded the stock to buy from hold. Rollins said he expects sales at Qwest to beat Wall Street's expectations. Digital infrastructure services company VeriSign ( VRSN) rose $1.30, or 4.2%, to $32.25 after an analyst at Jefferies upgraded the stock to buy from hold and increased the price target on it to $38 from $35. VeriSign's stock buyback program should help boost EPS, said the analyst in a note. Video games retailer GameStop ( GME) was up $2.94, or 6.6%, to $47.16. Electronic Arts' ( ERTS) sports game Madden NFL 09 will be released Tuesday, and the game is expected to be a hit. Shares of EA were up 2.2% to $47.69.