By Rex Crum
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Tech stocks put in a broadly upbeat performance Tuesday, with Oracle Corp. in the spotlight as the software giant made another acquisition and headed to court to determine damages it's seeking in a trade-secrets case from SAP AG.
Oracle (ORCL) shares rose 40 cents to close at $29.53 after the company said it would acquire Art Technology Group Inc. (ARTG) for $1 billion.
The $6-a-share buyout price values Art Technology at a 46% premium to its Monday closing price. Shares of Art Technology, which develops on-demand and e-commerce software applications, rallied about 45% as the deal was announced before the bell.
Also, Oracle was set to go to federal court in Oakland, Calif., to begin the process of determining damages sought from SAP (SAP) in a case of intellectual-property theft committed by a former SAP subsidiary.
Meanwhile, video-game publisher Electronic Arts Inc. (ERTS) shares rose 40 cents to $16.20 before the release of the company's second-quarter results, due out after the close of regular U.S. trading.
Ahead of the results, Electronic Arts announced a five-year deal with Facebook.
Rackspace Hosting Inc. (RAX) shares ended the day with a gain of 59 cents at $25.95. Rackspace's shares had climbed as much as 7.5% on speculation that Dell Inc. (DELL) was considering an acquisition of the cloud-and-managed-hosting technology company.
Instead, Dell said it would acquire privately held software developer Boomi for an undisclosed amount. Dell's shares ended the day down 4 cents at $14.37.
Gains also came from Apple Inc. (AAPL), Google Inc. (GOOG) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).
The Nasdaq Composite Index (RIXF) rose almost 29 points to 2,533, while both the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) and the Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (MSH) added nearly 1%.
Tuesday's decliners included Hutchinson Technology Inc. (HTCH), which makes suspension assemblies for hard-disk drives.
Hutchinson's shares fell 28 cents, or more than 8%, to close at $3.14 after the company delivered a disappointing fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report and forecast. Analyst Mark Miller of Noble Financial Group cut his rating on Hutchinson to sell from hold.