(HPQ) - Get Report

's shares crept up in Friday trading following the firm's decision to freeze salaries in an attempt to cut costs and combat the weak economy.

An H-P spokeswoman confirmed that the company has instituted a temporary suspension of salary increases after


reported that the company had placed a hold on pay raises. The only H-P employees who are not affected are those in countries where pay freezes are illegal, according to the news report.

"In this difficult macro-economic environment, we believe it is prudent and responsible to reduce costs where possible," wrote the H-P spokeswoman, in an emailed statement. "H-P has a long-standing and disciplined approach to managing costs in order to invest in the company's growth."

The firm's stock rose 34 cents, or 1.02%, to $33.73, in Friday afternoon trading as the Nasdaq rose 2.44%.

H-P, which employees 320,000 people around the word, is seen as one of the key indicators for the health of the tech sector. The company has already undertaken a slew of restructuring measures, including job cuts, internal re-organization, and data center overhauls.

Despite an increasingly difficult economic climate the company


Wall Street's revenue estimates in its recent fourth-quarter results. H-P CEO Mark Hurd attributed the growth largely to the company's services business and "disciplined" expense management.

The computer manufacturer, which competes with


(DELL) - Get Report





(AAPL) - Get Report

in hardware, and with


(IBM) - Get Report

in services, also expects to shave a $1 billion off its expenses through its ongoing integration of services giant