Tech stocks were flat, outperforming the broader market, as investors grappled with bad news from financial firms and their impact on the economy. Video-game publisher Electronic Arts ( ERTS) added 98 cents, or 2.1%, to $48.50 following a report by Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia that initial checks show sales growth of the company's newly released Madden NFL 09 game is up by the "low-single-digits" from a year ago. That's see as a positive trend because pre-orders for the game were down from the year before. EA had disclosed weaker-than-expected pre-orders during the company's earnings report last month, but didn't reveal how much they were down. AMD ( AMD) gained 14 cents, or 2.7%, to $5.25 after introduced its latest ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card. The company billed it as the "world's fastest" graphics card. Apple ( AAPL) continued to remain strong and was up $4.51, or 2.6%, to $178.07. CEO Steve Jobs said Monday that the company's online iPhone applications store has sold more than 60 million programs and could become a $1 billion business. At its current rate, the store will make $360 million in a year, said Jobs. Shares of Nuance Communications ( NUAN) were down $1.19, or 6.6%, to $16.70 after it reported higher loss for the third quarter. At the same time, the company raised its outlook for full-year EPS. For the third quarter, Nuance reported a revenue increase of 46% to $229.2 million, including $12.5 million in acquisition-related writedowns. Analysts were expecting a top line of $232.3 million. Excluding special items, EPS was 22 cents, a penny better than analysts' expectations.
Sonus Networks ( SONS) fell 71 cents, or 16.9%, to $3.48 after it said it couldn't reaffirm its 20% revenue growth estimate for fiscal 2008. Following the company's quarterly results, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald downgraded the stock to hold from buy.