4 Tech Stock Stories Making a Commotion on Friday

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG): Closing price $889.07

The Defense department has ended a discrete arrangement that for years permitted Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to travel on deeply discounted jet fuel bought from the Pentagon, according to a letter from a Pentagon official released by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA).

The accord between Page, Brin, and the government, which began in 2007, ended August 31 after officials at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration — which backed the arrangement — decided to not renew it, said a Pentagon spokeswoman. The move came after discussions earlier this year between the Pentagon and NASA in regards to whether the Google founders might have surpassed the contract terms by using fuel for non-government flights.

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Amazon.com Inc.  (NASDAQ:AMZN): Closing price $297.92

Amazon’s EC2 service in its large United States East region is showing indications of stress, as it seems that network connectivity difficulties there are impacting Heroku, parts of Github, CMSWire, and a number of other sites. The networking problems also affected Amazon’s RedShift data warehousing service, Relational Data Service, Simple Messaging Services, and CloudHSM service, said the status page. US East, which is a huge server farm in northern Virginia, is still Amazon’s biggest and oldest facility — though Amazon spokespersons have said that the infrastructure has been renovated virtually from the ground up during the past year.

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Closing price $464.90

Analyst Peter Misek at Jefferies lowered his price target on Apple from $450 to $425 early Friday while keeping a Hold on the stock. Misek said that channel checks indicate lower second-half iPhone builds because of terrible yields on fingerprint sensors. He foresees calendar third-quarter builds at 5 to 10 million iPhone 5S units, 20 million iPhone 5C units, and 5 to 8 million iPhone 4S builds.

As for the fourth quarter, Misek is modeling 5S builds of between 20 and 25 million, 5C builds of 30 million units, and 4S builds of 3 to 5 million units. He observed that, We note that the build plans vary widely (much more than normal) depending on the supplier, which we interpret to imply a combination of build cuts and component inventory issues. Prior fourth-quarter builds were 55 to 60 million versus current 48 to 60 million with almost all of the downside revision due to the 5s.

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International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM): Closing price $192.17

A government minister in India said that two consortiums, including IBM and STMicroelectronics, have proposed the construction of semiconductor wafer plants in India that will cost a total of $8 billion, after the government okayed concessions to lure chipmakers. India wants local output of chips to reduce long-term import bills, and has renewed a push to entice investments after a previous attempt went awry.

Beyond that, the government hopes that other chipmakers will indicate interest in building further plants after the federal cabinet on Thursday permitted concessions that include subsidies on capital spending, interest-free loans and tax breaks, according to Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal.

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