By Rex Crum, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Technology stocks put on a strong display ahead of the market close Tuesday, with semiconductor giant Intel Corp. among the standouts on the day.
Intel /zigman2/quotes/203649727/composite INTC +0.85% rose 29 cents a share to $20.72 after Auriga analyst Daniel Berenbaum raised his rating on the company's stock to buy from hold and also lifted his price target to $24 a share from $20.
Berenbaum said he made the moves because discussions with contacts in the electronics market, "suggest that PCs could well be the strongest growth contributor to semiconductor [sales]" this year. Berenbaum also said that the valuation of Intel's stock makes it attractive at the present time.
Advances also came from Apple Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +0.48% , up $3.02 to $203.40; Google Inc. /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG +1.23% , which rose $8.18 a share to $541.30; Dell Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203822527/composite DELL +0.68% up 30 cents to close at $14.14 and Hewlett-Packard Co. /zigman2/quotes/203461582/composite HPQ +0.09% , which closed with a gain of 98 cents at $49.44.
Microsoft Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT +0.64% shares rose 42 cents to $28.30 after the world's largest software company showed of its Windows Mobile 7 operating for smartphones.
Companies in the hard-disk drive market surged, with Hutchinson Technology Inc. up 64 cents a share, or more than 10%, to $6.96; Seagate Technology /zigman2/quotes/201824240/composite STX +0.24% rising $1.03, or 5.5%, to close at $19.73 and Western Digital Corp. /zigman2/quotes/204213617/composite WDC +1.30% climbing $2.73 a share, or almost 7%, to end the day at $42.58.
The Nasdaq Composite Index rose almost 31 points to 2,214 while the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index /zigman2/quotes/210598361/realtime SOX +1.20% rose 2.4%. The Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index and the Nasdaq Computer Index /zigman2/quotes/210598343/realtime IXCO +0.98% each rose 1.6%.