Home Finance Fortinet’s stock nabs record closing high, while Microsoft, Nvidia, Broadcom bids all fall short

Fortinet’s stock nabs record closing high, while Microsoft, Nvidia, Broadcom bids all fall short

by CoinNews

Microsoft Corp. and Nvidia Corp., two of the standard-bearers of the artificial-intelligence wave, jostled for record closing highs Friday along with another chip maker and one cybersecurity company, as AI remains a driving force in this year’s tech rally. Only one succeeded.

On Friday, Nvidia
shares rose as high as $480.88, but late in the day, the stock swung lower and closed down 1.1% at $454.69, below Thursday’s $459.77, while shares of Broadcom Inc.
shares hit an intraday high of $903.35 but also swung lower to decline 0.2% on the day and end at $888.58, below Thursday’s record $890.36. Both stocks rallied early Friday after Truist analyst William Stein said the two chip makers had the most upside in the AI chip market following positive industry feedback.

Read: Nvidia ‘should have at least 90%’ of AI chip market with AMD on its heels

shares, which had traded as high as $351.43 earlier in the session, had been on track to unseat the current closing high of $348.10, set on June 15, but closed just short with a 0.8% gain at $345.24.

Read: Amazon, Microsoft and Google cloud services bet heavily on AI, but do their customers even want it?

On Friday, UBS analyst Karl Keirstead hiked his rating on Microsoft to a buy and boosted his price target to $400 on AI enthusiasm.

Microsoft gained momentum earlier in the week after the company’s expanded cybersecurity offerings put pressure on pure-play cybersecurity vendors like Palo Alto Networks Inc.
and Zscaler Inc.

Read: Microsoft cybersecurity expansion poses long-term ramifications for Palo Alto Networks, Cloudflare, others

That did not stop Fortinet Inc.
shares from a fresh record close. With its most recent record close being on Tuesday at $78.32, Fortinet shares closed Friday up 0.9% at $78.92. Like many other cybersecurity providers, Fortinet’s protection is augmented with some type of AI.

In a Friday note, Morgan Stanley analyst Hamza Fodderwala, who has overweight ratings on both Microsoft and Palo Alto Networks, said that Microsoft’s expansion “won’t materially impact cloud network security providers” like Palo Alto Networks, Zscaler and Cloudflare Inc.
and that companies like Fortinet and Check Point Technologies Ltd.
have even less exposure.

Meanwhile, Microsoft faces its own pressure to close its acquisition of Activision Blizzard Inc.
by July 18, after the Federal Trade Commission said it was appealing a federal judge’s decision to let the deal proceed.

Read: Opinion: Why the AI stock frenzy looks disturbingly like the PC and dot-com booms — and busts

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