Here are the Top Stories Which Drove Tech Stocks This Week

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to this week’s top tech industry business headlines:

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL): Current price $474.98

Apple has now patented an iPhone without a home button, which is believed to be the anticipated cheaper version of the successful smartphone. According to the United States Patent & Trademark Office filing, the device will be made out of a “clear plastic body.” The patent describes the product as “A portable device which has a rear facing camera assembly and a front facing display assembly that includes at least a protective cover layer, a display stack that includes a plurality of display components arranged in a plurality of interconnected layers, the display stack providing an imaging service, and a flat support chassis arranged to provide support for the display stack.”

Following years of chatter that Apple is developing streaming radio service through which to rival such names as Pandora Media (NYSE:P), a new find in the most recent version of iOS imply that such a service might be poised for an intro, possibly even this year. Details are sketchy and discussion with music labels are said to have been arduous. 9to5Mac searched through the latest version of iOS and found two radio buttons labeled “buy” that could ultimately lead to a portal at which iOS device users can subscribe to Apple’s upcoming streaming radio service.

There are rumors that Apple is thinking seriously about making a bigger form-factor iPhone in the near-term. The chatter has been lent credence by the Chinese mobile phone information site Laoyaoba.com reporting from a source who has seen the iPhone 5S and iPhone 6 at Apple’s suppliers and that ”the iPhone 5S resembles the iPhone 5 and the five-inch iPhone 6 is lighter and thinner.” The website added Thursday that both models could be launched this year.

Washington Post Co. (NYSE:WPO): Current price $398.68

The Washington Post is the latest victim to have been hacked by Chinese hackers, adding to a list of United States news organizations that includes Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal, which said on Thursday that it too had been a victim of Chinese cyberattacks. Knowledgeable sources say that The Washington Post’s computer systems were also attacked by Chinese hackers in 2012.

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Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:BBRY): Current price $16.49

Research In Motion put its new ticker symbols into effect on Monday, February 4th, trading as “BB” on the Toronto Stock Exchange and “BBRY” on the NASDAQ. However, the legal name of the firm is not yet changing and it will do business as BlackBerry until shareholders vote for the official change at its Annual General Meeting later in the year.

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Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO): Current price $20.50

On Thursday and Friday, Daniel Loeb’s Third Point sold 11 million of its Yahoo shares, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Third Point said that it sold the shares so as to maintain an approximately consistent percentage holding of Yahoo’s outstanding shares, as it pursues its $5 billion repurchase authorization; in the quarter ended December 31st, Yahoo repurchased around 80 million shares worth $1.5 billion, under a $5 billion plan it authorized in May.

Are these stocks a buy or sell? Let us help you decide. Check out our Stock Picker Newsletter now.

First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR): Current price $30.40

The world’s biggest maker of thin-film solar panels, First Solar, might now sell electricity at a lower rate than new coal plants earn, says a regulatory filing from a project it acquired in New Mexico. The firm has won an arrangement to sell power to El Paso Electric Co. (NYSE:EE) from First Solar’s 50-megawatt Macho Springs project at 5.79 cents per kilowatt- hour, according to a January 22nd procedural order from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, which is less than half the 12.8 cents a kilowatt-hour for power rate from typical new coal plants, according to Bloomberg data.

Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC): Current price $22.59

The security and storage major’s shares have jumped by 18 percent in the past year, and hopes are that a just-announced corporate overhaul can help the company grow more rapidly. Chief Executive Steve Bennett, who arrived this past summer from positions at Intuit and General Electric, and trained in modern management techniques, says that firm is “bloated” and in need of “material” cuts in management after many purchases. Bennett also says that investors had “given up” on Symantec, as revenue growth has been low-single digits since 2011. In a recent IBD interview, he commented that “We’re transforming this into a company focused on solving customers’ biggest and most important needs, leveraging all the great assets that those before me put in place. It’s going to move from acquisition as our growth strategy to having a growth strategy focused on organic growth.”

General Electric Company (NYSE:GE): Current price $22.

GE Lighting will shut its 164-employee Ravenna manufacturing facility in Ohio by the end of March 2014, explaining that there is a “dramatic and continuing” slump in demand for the lamps made there. Workers at Ravenna make high-intensity discharge lamps which are used in warehouses, stadiums and other public areas. However, the GE Lighting Ravenna distribution center, which employs about 40, will be unaffected.

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BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY): Current price $16.49

The BlackBerry Z10 seems to be taking off faster than observers had predicted, as two research notes give support to reports of strong demand for the first handset of the type. On Monday, Analysts Pierre Ferragu at Bernstein and Jeff Kvall at Barclays reported details of their own Z10 retail checks, which mostly corroborate the findings of an earlier survey by Jefferies. Ferragu cited early enthusiasm for the devices in the United Kingdom as he elevated his target price on RIM shares  from $12 to $22, commenting that  “We have grown more confident in the likely success of the BlackBerry 10 launch, supported by low channel inventories, strong operator support and material pent-up demand. Initial feedback we have received from distributors on the first days of sales is particularly positive.” Kvaal found similar results from his own channel checks, surveying several BlackBerry vendors in the U.K. over the weekend and heard that BlackBerry Z10 sales were strong, remarking that “Our recent store checks suggest that initial sales of the BlackBerry Z10 are off to a solid, if not healthy start in the U.K. We believe this is a function of strong sell-through versus limited sell-in.

Are these stocks a buy or sell? Let us help you decide. Check out our Stock Picker Newsletter now.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK): Current price $4.07

Nokia might carefully move into the tablet market as the next phase beyond its Windows Phone-based Lumia lineup. Chief executive Stephen Elop told reporters in Sydney on Sunday that his firm is “very closely” examining tablets, but has yet to make an official announcement, reports the Australian Financial Review.

The Finnish handset manufacturer is bringing its “revolutionary” 41-megapixel Pureview sensor to its Lumia array of  Windows Phone handsets, says an inside source. The new device will be calles EOS and will be introduced in the United States in the summer. Earlier, some analysts had brought up the lack of the 41MP sensor when Nokia launched its flagship Lumia 920 Windows Phone handset at the end of last year.

According to a Bloomberg report, the Nokia Lumia 920T faces serious supply problems in China. China Mobile now sells Lumia 920 for around $738 per device and said that most of their stores have no Lumia 920Ts in stock. This means Nokia is not getting in on next week’s holiday season because to delivery constraints. A China Mobile spokeswoman said that Nokia supplied a mere 30,000 units until January 30th, but 90,000 Lumia 920T models were ordered. This is not at all helpful to the firm as it loses the market to its competitors in the biggest handset market in the world.

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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT): Current price $27.55

The Chinese vendor Huawei Technologies is collaborating with Microsoft so as to bring its Windows Phone smartphone to Africa, while the firms look to add to mobile accessibility and adoption there. In a Tuesday statement, Huawei announced that it is introducing the Huawei 4Afrika handset exclusively for the that region. The product features a customized application store with an array of applications and content which are designed by Africans for their domestic customers.

Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ): Current price $16.87

An inside source says that HP’s board is not actively evaluating a plan to break the firm up, which directly refutes the implication in a report from Quartz that HP’s board was “studying a breakup.” Such rumors are naturally abounding on the day in which the firm’s rival, Dell, announced its own plan to sell itself.

Zillow (NASDAQ:Z): Current price $35.92

Zillow, the real estate information marketplace, launched Zillow Digs on Wednesday, a free application exclusively available for iPad and as a Web service. According to the press release, home shoppers and homeowners can locate “visual inspiration” and grasp the actual cost of remodeling projects based on their locations of the actual bathrooms and kitchens they are viewing.

Are these stocks a buy or sell? Let us help you decide. Check out our Stock Picker Newsletter now.

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Trimble Navigation (NASDAQ:TRMB): Current price $60.21

Trimble has introduced its Trimble TrimFleet Communicator. Collaborating with Twisted Pair Solutions, TrimFleet Communicator joins Twisted Pair’s Wave software with Trimble’s fleet management solution, allowing integrated push-to-talk voice communication that is specifically created for the construction materials industry to enhance system performance and collaboration.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ): Current price $44.35

Bringing its board of directors members to 13 on Thursday, Verizon named President and Chief Executive Gregory D. Wasson of  Walgreen Co., effective March 1st. Wasson has been Walgreen’s president and CEO since February 2009 and has also been a director for that firm.

Are these stocks a buy or sell? Let us help you decide. Check out our Stock Picker Newsletter now.

AT&T (NYSE:T): Current price $35.27

AT&T intends to sell bonds in a benchmark offering which could include its first floating-rate notes in nearly five years. The carrier might issue three-year notes with a coupon connected to the Libor, similar-maturity fixed-rate debt or a combination of the two, according to a knowledgeable source. If AT&T does issue so-called floaters, it would mark its first such move since March 2008 when it offered $2 billion worth of two-year securities that paid 45 basis points more than Libor.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG): Current price $785.37

It appears that a slew of advertisers are irked at Google’s modifications to the operation of Adwords on mobile devices, as a number of them say that the changes were at the best unhelpful along with being a way to hike prices. Prior to this, advertisers purchased separate search word campaigns on mobile, tablet and desktop devices and paid different rates for each type of device, depending on the demand. The problem is that there are not so many bidders for mobile users and cost-per-click prices on mobile were thus lower. But now, Gooogle is simplifying its Adwords process by requiring advertisers to buy search words across desktop, mobile and tablet devices at one time, thus giving them less of a choice as to where their ads appear.

On Friday, a Washington, D.C. federal appeals court is hearing arguments in regards to a basic question that has confounded the tech industry for almost two decades — At what time or situation can a piece of software be patented? Two sides have lined up on the matter and Google, Facebook and Intuit (the Big Tech Boys) significantly believe that the Patent & Trademark Office has already issued too many software patents in recent years. The group wants to see courts apply more rigorous criteria when reviewing them. Opposing this view is IBM along with others, such as patent trolls, who say that too many standards being ratcheted up will cut into innovation.

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Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX): Current price $180.97

Just after Netflix debuted its original of House of Cards on Friday, observers wonder how it did, says CNBC. Many ask if it attracted new subscribers or pursuaded current subscribers to watch it all weekend. No word from Netflix, but the independent firm Sandvine, which monitors Internet data usage, got some results which indicated there was no spike in viewing.

Are these stocks a buy or sell? Let us help you decide. Check out our Stock Picker Newsletter now.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB): Current price $28.55

Several major websites including New York Times, CNN and Gawker were shut off Thursday night due to a brief but huge glitch with Facebook Connect, according to Business Insider. Facebook reports that it quickly resolved the problem.

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