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The Nasdaq Now: Tech Stocks Rise, but Market Stays Flat Before Earnings Reports

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Microsoft somehow failed to profit from Nokia's earnings boom.

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The Nasdaq Composite Index (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) traded mostly flat as investors continued to worry over the early trickle of fourth-quarter earnings reports. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) led the tech gainers in Thursday mid-market trading; investor confidence is high on reports that CEO Tim Cook's visit to China may well lead to China Mobile (NYSE:CHL), the world's largest mobile service provider, offering the iPhone to its customers.

The Nasdaq fell 2.76% on trading volume of 407,588,752 as of 12:05 p.m. EST.

Apple rose just 0.46% to $519.50 on the aforementioned news from China despite rampant speculation (and derision) about the possibility of the company producing a cheaper, lower-quality iPhone in order to reach customers in emerging markets.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) rose 1.55% to $31.03 on very high volume as investor confidence was strengthened yesterday by the stock price rising above $30 for the first time since July; the stock looks well on its way to re-attaining its IPO price of $38 per share.

Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) rose 3.87% to $11.93 on news that T-Mobile, AT&T (NYSE:T), and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) will all support its new BlackBerry 10 device. The device is hotly tipped to be a winner despite RIM's poor recent record.

Marvell Technology (NASDAQ:MRVL) rose 1.59% to $8.31 per share after expanding its already-popular AVANTA product line and introducing a new cloud connectivity system designed to radically simplify printing from mobile devices.

Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA) fell sharply by 6.95% to $16.86 after lowering its earnings outlook for the 2013 fiscal year and announcing the retirement of its CFO of 21 years, Armand Correia.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) fell 0.99% to $26.44 despite news that Nokia (NYSE:NOK) had surged after thrashing its own earnings forecasts, in part by selling Windows-powered Lumia handsets.

Finally, Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) rose 0.93% to $21.65. The company also announced that it would be working with the United Nations and the US State Department on a major report concerning women, the Internet, and social problems in the developing world.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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