Tech stocks were on the rise on Monday, with much of the country's attention focused on the presidential election. The Nasdaq gained 9 points, or 0.5%, to 1730 in recent trading. Sprint Nextel ( S) shares rocketed 27.2% to $3.98 one day before the Federal Communications Commission is expected to approve the company's plan to spin off its WiMax wireless unit into a joint venture with Clearwire. The FCC is also expected to approve Verizon's ( VZ) acquisition of Alltel. Verizon's shares were up 2.8% to $30.49. Microsoft ( MSFT) shares jumped 2.4% to $22.87 on Monday after the software giant entered a preliminary agreement with South Korea's LG Electronics on a strategic collaboration in mobile technology, according to Reuters. "The agreement ensures continued strategic collaboration in R&D, marketing, applications, and services in the field of converged mobile devices," LG told Reuters in a statement. Shares of Actuate ( ACTU) shot up 12% to $3.18 on news that it will buy back up to $60 million of its shares in a Dutch auction tender offer, at a price in the range of $3.15 and $3.40 a share. Cisco ( CSCO) shares tumbled 3% to $17.24 after Credit Suisse slashed its earnings estimate for the 2009 fiscal year ahead of the company's quarterly results to be released after the close on Wednesday. Credit Suisse now expects fiscal year earnings of $1.35 a share, down from $1.67 a share. The firm also cuts its projection for 2010, to $1.47 from $1.90 and lowered its price target to $19 from $25.
Shares of Ciena ( CIEN) were down 7.6% to $8.88 in recent trading after Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock to underperform from neutral. The firm also said that Wall Street estimates for 2009 seem overly optimistic. Shares of Motorola ( MOT) also fell on Monday, down 6.4% to $5.03. Merrill Lynch downgraded the stock to neutral from buy, adding that the company must turn itself around on many different levels.