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These Three Tech Stocks are Moving Higher

By Sam Mattera – Mar 11, 2014 at 5:20AM

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Shares of Microsoft, Apple, and Electronic Arts are rising alongside the Dow Jones.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 1.26%) was little changed on Tuesday, experiencing only a modest rally of about 12 points as of 11:30 a.m. EDT, with component Microsoft (MSFT 1.50%) leading its index higher. Tech stocks Electronic Arts (EA 1.13%) and Apple (AAPL 1.56%) also saw notable moves to the upside.

JOLTS disappoints
There weren't many economic reports affecting the market on Tuesday, but one of the more notable ones came in below expectations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary showed openings of 3.97 million jobs in January, less than the 4.015 million that economists had anticipated.

The JOLTS report isn't considered as vital as the Labor Department's monthly nonfarm payroll report, but it still provides some insight into the state of the U.S. labor market. Nevertheless, it didn't seem to be having a major impact on the Dow Jones.

Electronic Arts releases Titanfall for Microsoft's Xbox One
Shares of Electronic Arts and Microsoft rallied in tandem on Tuesday, respectively up 1.2% and 0.8%, as Electronic Arts' latest title, Titanfall, went on sale for Microsoft's Xbox One video game console. With sales of Microsoft's console lagging its largest rival, the PlayStation 4, Microsoft needs Titanfall to be a success.

Microsoft is offering a free copy of the game to new buyers of the Xbox One, while reviewers have generally been very positive about the game. Although Electronic Arts' game is also available for the PC and Xbox 360, it isn't being sold for the PlayStation 4. If the game proves to be a success, it could spur more sales of Microsoft's console and establish a profitable new franchise for Electronic Arts.

Apple rises on analyst upgrade
Apple shares rose more 1.3%, which may seem like a minor move, but is fairly significant for a company of its size. Pacific Crest upgraded Apple shares on Tuesday, bumping its rating to outperform from sector perform with a $635 price target.

Pacific Crest believes the iPhone 6 will serve as a catalyst, helping Apple shares move to the upside when the device goes on sale later this year. With a larger screen, the iPhone 6 could prove especially popular, and Apple could price the device at a premium to its prior models. Pacific Crest also believes Apple is on the verge of releasing a number of new products, and that at current levels, shares represent an interesting opportunity to capitalize on these upcoming products.

Sam Mattera has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Microsoft. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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