Apple, Inc. (AAPL) is limping along again in early Wednesday trading down about 1 percent and struggling to hold $400, but technology equities are posting broad gains. Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is trading ahead 1.5 percent, helping the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index trade ahead by 25 points to add to a 27-point gain on Tuesday.
Microsoft was upgraded to “overweight” by Morgan Stanley Wednesday morning, citing more headroom for growth with a focus on non-PC operations. Microsoft is in the limelight this week with its Build 2013 developers’ conference in San Francisco that begins this morning. Investors, analysts and developers will be looking for information on Windows Blue, the name dubbed to its first major update to Windows 8. The highly anticipated new operating system was released last October, only to receive a number of criticisms and somewhat tepid sales. The main complaint was the removal of the “start” icon that loyal Windows users had grown dependent upon through the years.
Windows says that they’ve sold over 100 million licenses for Windows 8, even in the face of dwindling PC sales.
Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that it is opening 600 “stores within a store” at Best Buy (BBY) locations across North America. Essentially, Best Buy is re-vamping their computer section to prominently feature Microsoft products at those locations, 500 of which are in the U.S. with 100 going into Canada.
Also fueling Nasdaq gains, Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) has jumped almost 2 percent after expanding its licensing agreement with PBS for hundreds of episodes of shows, including NOVA, Masterpiece documentaries and kids’ programs like Caillou, to name a few.
Amongst small-cap Nasdaq Global Market companies, Real Goods Solar, Inc. (RSOL) have surged about 25 percent to $2.77 after saying that its commercial and utility division, RGS Energy, was selected by St. Albans Solar Partners, LLC to deploy a new 2.2 megawatt solar farm in St. Albans, the biggest photovoltaic system in Vermont.
In the Nasdaq Capital Market space, Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. (RPTP) shares are making new highs with a 20-percent surge near $10 after announcing after Tuesday’s closing bell that the Food and Drug Administration granted the company orphan drug exclusivity for PROCYSBI (cysteamine bitartrate) delayed-release capsule for the management of nephropathic cystinosis patients over the age six.