By Rex Crum, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Tech stocks put in a mildly upbeat market performance Tuesday on a day highlighted by reaction to Texas Instruments Inc.'s deal to buy National Semiconductor Corp. for $6.5 billion and a rebalancing of the Nasdaq-100 that trimmed the influence of Apple on that index.
The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) closed with a gain of more than 2%, but the Nasdaq Composite Index (RIXF) dipped into the red late and then scuffled to close with a gain of 2 points at 2,791.
"There have been some crazy cross-currents impacting tech," said Brian Marshall, an analyst with Gleacher & Co. "Secular names [that] offer the best growth opportunities have all been taken out back behind the woodshed. Then, on the other hand, we have safer, more mature names with limited growth profiles such as IBM, Dell and SAP actually outperforming this year."
National Semi shares (NSM) surged 71% to $24.06 in the wake of an acquisition announcement late Monday. The deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, values National Semi at $25 a share.
TI shares (TXN) rose 58 cents to end the day at $34.69 .
The deal marks a major consolidation in analog chips, where TI and National Semi both have large market shares.
Among other chip stocks, big gains came from Intersil Corp. (ISIL), up $1.02 a share, or 8.4%, to close at $13.14; Semtech Corp. (SMTC), which rose $1.82 a share, or 7.5%, to $26.19; and On Semiconductor Corp. (ONNN), up 26 cents a share, or 2.7%, to close at $9.93.
Apple Inc. shares (AAPL) shed $2.30 to close at $338.89. Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ) said it was rebalancing the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) and would lower Apple's weighting to about 12% from more than 20%.
Nasdaq said the move was being undertaken to better reflect the market capitalizations of the index's stocks and would take effect May 2.
Cisco Systems Inc. shares (CSCO) were up 16 cents to a closing level of $17.22. In a letter to Cisco employees posted on a company blog, Cisco Chief Executive John Chambers that, while he believes the networking giant's strategy is sound, the company's operational execution has been lacking, while "we have disappointed our investors and we have confused our employees."
Google Inc. (GOOG) fell $18.59 a share, or 3.2%, to $569.09. Bloomberg News reported that Google could be subject to a U.S. Federal Trade Commission antitrust investigation of the company's share of the Web search market.
Among other tech stocks, gains came from Dell Inc. (DELL) as well as Dow Jones Industrial Average component Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), whose Nasdaq-100 weighting is set to rise in the rebalancing act. .