Highflying tech names Yelp (NYSE: YELP ) and Pandora (NYSE: P ) are trading near all-time highs on Friday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) surges yet again, up more than 52 points as of 11:30 a.m. EST. Dow component Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ) trades in line with the market.
Data on U.S. industrial production and manufacturing was worse than economists anticipated. The Empire State Manufacturing index came in at -2.21, missing expectations of 5.0, while industrial production fell 0.1% where economists had expected a gain of 0.2%. President Barack Obama's nominee to succeed Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen, spoke in favor of further stimulus during her Senate testimony Thursday.
Intel plans to roll out retail stores
Chipmaker Intel is planning to do something radical this holiday shopping season: roll out its own retail stores. These "Intel Experience Stores" will offer technical gadgets powered by Intel chips. They'll mostly serve as showrooms where consumers will be able to tinker with gadgets and then order them online from within the store.
It's unknown whether this will become a long-term part of Intel's strategy. So far, the company has only announced three stores in major metropolitan areas -- New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Regardless, Intel needs to do something to help offset its decline. Shares have underperformed the market over the last year, as demand for the company's chips has fallen.
More consumers are opting for mobile devices in place of traditional PCs, much to the detriment of Intel. Although Intel has chips in a handful of tablets and smartphones, it remains a minority player in the industry.
Pandora gets JPMorgan's backing
Pandora shares rallied more than 6.50% on Friday, trading near $31.40. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase raised their price target on shares of the online radio giant to $35, up from $25, ahead of the company's earnings report next week.
JPMorgan believes Pandora is reaching an inflection point in terms of monetization, noting that the company's market share continues to grow and that Pandora has been increasing its sales force. A couple of hedge funds also revealed new stakes in Pandora. Phillippe Laffont's Coatue Management and Patrick McCormack's Tiger Consumer Management bought shares of Pandora last quarter.
Yelp surges on Stifel initiation
Like Pandora, Yelp is also benefiting from an analyst note. Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on Yelp with a buy rating and $85 price target. Analysts argued that Yelp is an "online local directory" and has strategic asset value in the broader Internet ecosystem.
Hedge fund manager Jim Chanos also revealed a position in Yelp, which may have helped to support shares. However, any investors in Yelp should note that Chanos is primarily a short-seller: His long positions are not necessarily an indication of how he feels about the particular company, but rather serve to offset larger short positions within his portfolio.
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