Why Apple, Facebook, and Glu Mobile Are Rising

Shares of Apple, Facebook, and Glu Mobile are among the most actively traded and best-performing tech stocks today.

Sam Mattera
Sam Mattera
Jul 14, 2014 at 11:30AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is up 130 points as of 11:20 a.m. EDT. Although the broader market is rising, a few tech stocks -- including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), and Glu Mobile (NASDAQ:GLUU) -- posted notable gains, outperforming the broader market.

Oppenheimer backs Facebook
Facebook shares have risen more than 2% so far today after analysts at Oppenheimer said the social network should report better-than-expected earnings. Facebook is set to announce its quarterly results on July 23 (a week from Wednesday).

Oppenheimer cited positive checks of Facebook's user engagement and said that ads in Facebook-owned Instagram -- a recently new development -- should help support Facebook's bottom line.

Facebook has been a solid performer since its last quarterly report, rising more than 15% in the last three months. In addition to Oppenheimer, other analysts have been bullish on the social network as of late, helping shares climb. Now trading above $67 per share, and with a price-to-earnings ratio near 86, Facebook is a relatively expensive stock compared to the broader market. While Facebook shares are volatile to start the week, investors should expect continued moves, especially following its earnings report.

Glu Mobile continues to surge
Glu Mobile shares have gained more than 5% -- a continuation of a now weeks-long trend that has propelled shares of the small-cap tech stock more than 65%.

Glu Mobile shares continue to be driven higher by the relative success of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, a game that Glu Mobile developed and released late last month. Kim Kardashian is available for free on mobile devices, and the point-and-click adventure game features the eponymous social-media star.

Currently, the game is the third-ranked free app on the iTunes app charts and has been a top-ranked app almost continuously since its debut. In time, gamers may tire of the title, but so long as it remains popular, it could generate considerable revenue for Glu Mobile. The company's CEO has already said that it could be the biggest game Glu Mobile releases this year. If recent trends continue, it might be the biggest game it has ever released.

Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Apple boosted by Barclays
Apple's rally of roughly 1.5% looks relatively tame, but it's still ahead of the broader market, and it's a big move for a company Apple's size. Shares of the iPhone maker are rising after analysts at Barclays upgraded their rating on the stock from equal-weight to overweight.

Barclays also raised its price target to $110 from $95 -- about a 9% premium from current levels. Barclays cited its confidence in Apple's management, arguing that CEO Tim Cook had regained the confidence of investors.

Barclays isn't alone in its positive proclamations -- several analysts have upgraded Apple, or raised their price target on the stock, ahead of the presumed debut of the iPhone 6. The handset, which is widely expected to ship with a larger screen, could trigger a massive upgrade cycle, leading to impressive financial performance later this year.