Tech Winners: Sprint, Netflix

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Sprint Nextel ( S) shares were popping 13.99% to $7.09 after satellite-TV provider Dish Network ( DISH) offered to acquire the U.S. wireless carrier for $25.5 billion in cash and stock as it tries to enter the wireless business in a move that could frustrate the bid for Sprint by Japanese carrier Softbank.

Dish shares were down 4.7% to $35.86.

Netflix ( NFLX) was popping 3.51% to $179.28 after BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield began coverage of the movie provider with a buy rating and $250 price target, reflecting the strengthening relationship between the stock's price and actual value.

Microsoft ( MSFT) is working on designs for a touch-enabled watch device, executives at suppliers told the Wall Street Journal, potentially joining rivals like Apple that are working on similar devices. Shares were up about a third of a percentage point to $28.88.

Apple ( AAPL) was flagging by 1.61% to $422.90. Investors were not inspired by predictions the technology giant could raise its cash return and a report that Apple's partners are preparing for the ramp-up of the new iPhone launch.

The speculation about what Apple will do with the $137 billion cash hoard on its balance sheet is mounting ahead of the company's earnings later this month. One analyst thinks Apple could up the ante by as much as $20 billion over the next three years.

As Apple gets ready to launch the new iPhone, its partners are gearing up and getting ready for prime time. Apple's manufacturing partner in China, Foxconn, has been ramping up hiring since last month, adding about 10,000 assembly workers per week to its Zhengzhou plant, The Wall Street Journal noted, citing executives familiar with the situation.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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