The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was down more than 66 points as of 11:30 a.m. EDT. However, tech stocks including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), BlackBerry (NYSE:BB), and King Digital (NYSE:KING) were defying the market's slide.
Apple rises after upgrade
Shares of Apple rose more than 1.3% on Monday after Pacific Crest raised its price target on the stock to $100. Pacfic Crest's upgrade was largely based on an optimistic outlook for the iPhone 6 -- analysts believe that Apple's next iPhone will generate strong sales when it debuts, likely in the third quarter.
Apple investors may also have an iWatch to look forward to. Late last week, CNBC reported that Apple had hired TAG Heuer's sales director, presumably to help sell its forthcoming iWatch. TAG Heuer is a luxury Swiss watch maker, and bringing on one of the company's sales directors would make sense if Apple intends to sell a smartwatch in the near future.
Both news items are clearly positive for Apple shareholders, at least in the near term. Still, expectations for the tech giant appear to be quite high going into the fall. To maintain its current share price, Apple may have to make good on expectations for record-setting iPhone 6 and iWatch debuts.
BlackBerry benefits from design award wins
BlackBerry shares rose more than 5% late on Monday morning following an announcement that the company had won three Red Dot Awards. BlackBerry's Q10, Q5, and Z30 smartphones won on the basis of their designs.
BlackBerry shareholders may be hoping that the quality design translates into better sales, as the company's handsets continue to struggle in the face of better competition. Last quarter, for example, BlackBerry shipped just 1.6 million handsets -- down from 6.8 million in the prior year.
Those Red Dot Awards may be welcome, but don't seem likely to have a noticeable effect on sales. Investors should note that all three phones have been available for several months. Despite the relative strength of their designs, few consumers have been purchasing them.
BlackBerry's recent rally, including today's rise, may be the byproduct of a short squeeze: With roughly 20% of its outstanding shares sold short, BlackBerry shares may be prone to significant gains on any positive news.
King Digital rises on recommendation
Shares of King Digital, known primarily as the maker of Candy Crush Saga, rose 3.7% in Monday's session after Piper Jaffray raised its rating on the stock to overweight from neutral. Piper Jaffray believes King Digital shares could be worth as much as $28 -- a more than 20% premium from current levels.
Piper Jaffray believes the company's upcoming earnings report will be broadly in line with what Wall Street analysts expect, and that its results in the second half of the year will be driven by new game titles.
Although King Digital is often derided as a one-trick pony, dependent on Candy Crush Saga for the vast majority of revenue and earnings, the company has seen some recent success with other games. King Digital's Bubble Witch 2 Saga, for instance, is among the top-ranked free apps on the iTunes app store, and is currently more popular than Candy Crush Saga.
Editor's note: A previous version of this article misstated BlackBerry Limited's short interest. The Motley Fool regrets the error.
Sam Mattera has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple, Google (A shares), and Google (C shares). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. 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.