2 Tech Stocks Rallying on Thursday

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  )  had shed 13 points as of 11:30 a.m. EDT. Dow Jones component Intel (NASDAQ: INTC  ) rose 1.7% to outperform its index, while smaller tech stocks Pandora (NYSE: P  ) and OpenTable (UNKNOWN: OPEN.DL  ) experienced notable moves.

ISM nonmanufacturing disappoints
Disappointing data from the Institute for Supply Management may have helped to fuel the Dow Jones' sell-off on Thursday. The nonmanufacturing index, which measures the state of the economy (excluding the manufacturing sector), came in at 53.1 for March, below economists' expectation of 53.5.

While any reading above 50 indicates the nonmanufacturing sector is expanding, it may not be growing as quickly as anticipated. However, the March reading was well above the 51.6 cited for February.


Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Pandora slumps after listener metrics
Shares of Internet radio provider Pandora opened higher on Thursday, rising as much as 3% early in the session, but in late morning trading were nearly 1% in the red. It wasn't particularly clear why Pandora was dropping, as it had initially benefited from positive listener metrics early on Thursday.

Pandora reported 1.71 billion of listener hours in March, an increase of 14% from March of last year. Listener growth suggests that Pandora may be resisting increased competition from the growing list of rivals.

Citigroup upgrades OpenTable
OpenTable was up as 2.6% following an upgrade from Citigroup.

Citigroup raised its rating on OpenTable to buy from neutral, largely on the hope that its upcoming earnings report could exceed estimates. Citigroup also raised its price target on the stock from $74 to $90, suggesting a more than 10% upside from current levels.

Intel rises on initiation
Intel was one of the Dow Jones' best-performing components on Thursday. Like OpenTable, the gain in shares appeared to have been prompted by a note from analysts.

In Intel's case, Piper Jaffray initiated coverage on Intel with an overweight rating. Piper Jaffray believes that sales of traditional PCs should remain stable in 2014, in contrast to a recent decline. Piper Jaffray also believes that, in the long run, Intel should benefit from the tablet market, as its aggressive moves to gain market share eventually pay off.

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