Stock watch: Apple surge; Dell after SonicWall purchase; Zynga’s ‘orderly’ move

• It seems like only yesterday that we were writing about Apple stock hitting $500. Actually, it was just last month. (See Shares hit $500, and other Apple news.) Today, Apple shares are flirting with $600, surging into the $590s in earlier trading before pulling back a bit to $587.25 — which is still up nearly 3.5 percent. A couple of analysts reportedly boosted their share price targets for the maker of iGadgets.

The company is preparing to sell its newest gadget, the iPad, Friday in the U.S. and several other countries. Will the long lines that inevitably form when an Apple product launches be a thing of the past? The Cupertino company announced today that the iPad will also be available at Best Buy, Target, Walmart and other stores. The iPad has also been available for pre-order.

• Dell shares are up about 1 percent to $17.40, the day after the Texas computer maker announced that it is buying San Jose-based network security company SonicWall. Although the purchase price was not disclosed, Steve Johnson of the Mercury News reported that it was widely estimated to be a little more than $1 billion. SonicWall, a company founded in 1991, was taken private two years ago.

Dell’s security purchase is just its latest attempt to expand beyond the PC business, which is dealing with slowing growth. The world’s No. 3 PC maker is positioning itself to offer software and services to businesses as well, much like Hewlett-Packard. (See The future is here: HP, Dell, Intel and the ‘post-PC’ era.)

Zynga shares are seesawing today after news that the San Francisco social-games maker is letting some of its shareholders sell stock before the lock-up period expires in May. Shares were up more than 1 percent in earlier trading but are now down about 1 percent to about $13.25. The company wants to avoid a massive sell-off once the lock-up period expires and also boost the number of outstanding shares, according to the Associated Press.

 

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