technology stocks

3 Hot Tech Trends to Watch -- and Invest In -- for 2012

If you think 2011 was a wild year for technology, just wait until you see what 2012 has in store for you. Here are three tech trends that will undoubtedly grow in relevance -- and investor profitability -- in the year ahead.

Market Snapshot: What's Thriving in Battered Economy

The economy has had more than its share of trouble lately: Japan's earthquake comes on top of rising oil and food prices, political turmoil in the Middle East and a crop of government austerity measures. But investor opportunities lie hidden among the bad news.

Technology Companies Lead Stock Market Higher

Tech stocks rose after Intel increased its dividend and said it would buy back more of its stock. And materials companies jumped after a report showed that economists are more positive about growth and the job market than at any time since the start of the Great Recession.

Why Jobs's Absence May Not Keep Apple Shares Down Long

Twice before the iconic CEO had to leave the company in others' hands, and if that history is any guide, Apple investors may see the stock price do well once again in his absence -- providing they can handle the pain of the drop long enough to enjoy the recovery.

AOL to Buy Online Profile Site About.me

AOL (AOL) agreed to purchase about.me Inc, a product that lets people create a single personal profile page that presents their online identity. About.me lets users bring together profiles on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, blogs and more.

Investors Boo Dell's Bid for Compellent

Under the agreement, Dell will pay Compellent investors $27.75 a share in cash. Problem is those investors had bid up the stock to above $34 in anticipation of a much a better offer. If they ultimately reject Dell's deal, it'll be another black eye for the computing giant.

Gartner: Tablets Will Cut Into PC Sales in 2010 and 2011

Research company Gartner slashed its forecasts for global computer shipments in 2010 and 2011, saying that growing demand for tablet devices will eat into personal computer sales. PC shipments this year will rise 14.3% to 352 million units, Gartner said, according to Reuters. Gartner forecast that shipments will increase by 15.9% in 2011.

EMC to Buy Data Storage Company Isilon for $2.25 Billion

EMC Corp. (EMC) will buy scale-out storage company Isilon Systems for $2.25 billion. The deal, which values Isilon at a price of $33.85 per share, is expected to complete before the end of this year, EMC said in a statement.

Bill Gates Sells 2 Million Microsoft Shares

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), sold 2 million shares in the company. Gates sold the shares in the open market on Nov. 2 at an average price of $27.23, according to an SEC filing. The transaction left Gates with 618,973,551 shares in Microsoft. Gates sold the shares in the open market on Nov. 2 at an average price of $27.23, Reuters reported.

Apple's China Revenue May Triple Over Two Years, Analysts Say

Apple (AAPL) may see its revenue from China triple over two years as the company expands its sales network demand from consumers rise, Morgan Stanley (MS) said. Apple%u2019s sales in China may be worth more than $9 billion in the year ending September 2012, Morgan Stanley analysts said in a report. In the last fiscal year, Chinese sales were worth $2.9 billion.

Seagate Shares Jump as It Considers Going Private

Seagate Technology (STX) surged in extended-hours trading after saying that it received an indication of interest about going private. Seagate, which makes hard disk drives and storage products, gained 20.96% to $15.35 a share at 6:19 am, from Thursday%u2019s closing price of $12.69.

Oracle Wants to Buy Semiconductor, Software Companies

Oracle Corp. (ORCL) wants to buy semiconductor companies and the makers of industry-specific software, CEO Larry Ellison said. Oracle has bought more than 65 companies in the last five years. Adding chipmakers would help the company develop its presence in the market for computer hardware.

Microsoft Ups Dividend, Plans to Sell Debt

Microsoft (MSFT) upped its quarterly dividend to 16 cents a share from 13 cents a share, an increase of 23%. The new dividend represents an annual dividend yield of 2.5%, TheStreet reported. Microsoft had not raised its dividend in two years.

Smartphone of the Future Will Read Your Moods, Intel Says

The smartphone of the future will be able to react to your moods, Intel Chief Technology officer Justin Rattner predicts. The phone of the future could use microphones, cameras and heart monitors to measure their user%u2019s moods and offer advice, Rattner said at a conference in San Francisco, Reuters reported.

Microsoft to Unveil New Version of Internet Explorer

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) will unveil its new version of Internet Explorer as it tries to stem losses in the browser%u2019s market share. Microsoft will unveil the test version of Internet Explorer 9 in San Francisco, Bloomberg News reported. The new version will load pages faster and support HTML 5 technology.

Suitors May Be Calling on Polycom

Polycom is a big player in a small but growing tech market: corporate videoconferencing systems. It develops and makes video-, voice-, data- and Web-conferencing equipment systems. But what adds spice to the stock is its potential as an attractive takeover target.

Hewlett-Packard to Purchase 3Par for $2.35 Billion

Technology company Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) will purchase utility storage company 3Par Inc (PAR) for $2.35 billion or $33 a share. The agreement between the two companies ends 3Par%u2019s merger agreement with chip-maker Dell Inc. (DELL), with 3Par agreeing to pay Dell $72 million as a termination fee.