Tech Premarket: Sirius, Apple, Riverbed, IBM

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Sirius XM (SIRI) was one of the most active premarket Nasdaq stocks, rising 0.24% to $3.78 on share volume of 779,614.

Media conglomerate Liberty Media (LMCA) said last wek that it will seek to make the Internet radio specialist a wholly owned subsidiary. On Wednesday, two separate law firms announced investigations into the proposed acquisition.

Facebook (FB) is another premarket mover, with shares of the social network rising 0.76% to $58.67. Some 474,403 of the company's shares were changing hands.

Apple (AAPL) shares were rising 0.54% to $546.41. The iPhone maker and Samsung have agreed to meet to discuss settling a two-year legal battle.

Riverbed Technology (RVBD) was another premarket mover, rising 1.13% to $19.75 after climbing dramatically during Wednesday's trading session. The networking specialist's shares closed up 9.41% at $19.53 on Wednesday after hedge fund Elliott Associates made a $3.08 billion offer to acquire the company.

Deutsche Bank upgraded Riverbed to hold from sell and raised its price target to $16 from $11 in a note released on Wednesday. "Our sense is that Elliott is looking for any scenario but status quo to improve operational efficiency in RVBD's business," wrote Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Modoff in a note released on Wednesday.

IBM (IBM) shares gained 0.81% to $189.50 before market open as the tech bellwether prepares to ramp up its Watson supercomputer strategy. The Armonk, N.Y., company is setting up a New York City-based business unit devoted to Watson. Based at 51 Astor Place in New York's "Silicon Alley" tech hub, the Watson Group will focus on cloud-based innovation and also will help customers cope with the challenge of big data.

The hardware and software giant will invest more than $1 billion in the Watson Group, focused on R&D and bringing cloud-based applications and services to market. The company will make $100 million of its investment available for venture investments in startups and businesses building Watson-powered apps.

IBM will host a Watson event Thursday morning in downtown Manhattan, where CEO Ginni Rometty is expected to provide an update on Watson's role in the commercial world.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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