By Benjamin Pimentel, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Technology stocks were mostly on the rise in afternoon trading Wednesday, with gains coming from Apple Inc., Advanced Micro Devices, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Research In Motion.
Apple (AAPL) shares rose $1.75 to $374.28 a day after the launch of its new iPhone 4S in the prior session failed to create a buzz and on news that Samsung was seeking to ban the product in France and Italy.
AMD (AMD) inched up 8 cents a share to $4.80, but remained on edge after Bernstein Research downgraded the stock to market perform.
Last month, the chip company cut its sales forecast citing "manufacturing issues" at GlobalFoundries, the company spun off from its manufacturing operations.
"It is now increasingly clear that even AMD has no visibility into the likely yield trajectory at GlobalFoundries, and potential upside is likely to be limited," Stacy Rasgon, an analyst at Bernstein Research, said in a note. "No short term catalysts exist now given management credibility is shot and we believe shares could trade lower."
The sector also got a lift from SanDisk Corp. (SNDK), which rose 5%, and Juniper Networks (JNPR) also gained more than 6%.
H-P (HPQ) added more than 4% but the beleaguered technology giant took a hit from a J.P. Morgan note resuming coverage with an underweight rating.
"History is not on H-P's side," analyst Mark Moskowitz said in a note. "We think the 'value status' of H-P's stock, given the historical low price-to-earnings multiple, is not an attractive one for investors."
Research In Motion (RIMM) soared more than 13% on yet more buyout talk, this time involving Vodafone. Vodafone (VOD) shares were mostly flat.
The Nasdaq Composite Index (RIXF) climbed almost 24 points to 2,428, while the Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index (MSH) and the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) were each up more than 1.5%.