Apple in the Lead, Facebook Upgraded to Outperform Rating: Top Tech Stories You Must Know

Tech markets closed up on Monday in the hopes that Washington will successfully stave off the fiscal-cliff crisis, with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the lead, gaining over 4% to close at $532.17. At the close, the Nasdaq Composite Index (NASDAQ:NDAQ) had gained 59 points, and both the Morgan Stanley High Tech 35 Index and the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index experienced gains of 2%, adding 166 points to the Dow.

Thanks to increased spending on advertising “from large brands that are returning for mobile ‘reach and frequency’ and more video ads,” according to BMO Capital Markets analyst Daniel Salmon, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) closed at $26.62, an increase of almost 3%. Salmon upgraded the social network to an Outperform rating and more than doubled the price target to $32. Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jordan Rohan also increased his price target, citing Facebook’s increased potential for revenue via mobile ads.

Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) also increased by 1.3% to close at $2.36, after shutting down 11 games this weekend, including PetVille and Mafia Wars 2.

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) experienced a gain of 2.3%, closing at $250.87 after apologizing for an outage in Netflix streaming service on Christmas Eve. Likewise Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) shares closed 3.7% higher at $97.59.