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Apple, Pandora Media, Tibco, Netflix drag on tech; Western Digital rises

Apple, Pandora Media, Tibco, Netflix drag on tech; Western Digital rises

The tech sector was weighed down in the U.S. on Wednesday, with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) a main drag on the Nasdaq. 

The iPad maker's shares fell more than 4% ahead of a court hearing on Thursday in San Jose, California, on motions related to its win back in the summer in a patent infringement case with rival Samsung. The hearing is for the judge to consider penalties against Korea's Samsung, though many expect the electronics giant to petition for a new trial. 

Meanwhile, International Data Corp reported Apple's share of the global tablet market will slip in 2012 to 53.8% from 56.3%, while Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android share is expected to rise. 

Elsewhere, internet radio company Pandora Media’s (NYSE:P) shares tumbled over 17 per cent Wednesday, after it predicted a loss in the fourth quarter when reporting its third quarter results late Tuesday.

For the fiscal fourth quarter, the company said adjusted loss per share is expected to be between six and nine cents, while revenue is expected to be in the range of $120 to $123 million.  Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting a fourth quarter profit of two cents, on revenue of $130.27 million.

Tibco Software (NASDAQ:TIBX) also issued a disappointing forecast, with shares tumbling more than 20%, with the data management and analytics software company blaming cuts in government spending and Hurricane Sandy. The news hit others in the software sector as well. 

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) shares lost almost 2% after a rally on Tuesday, when it announced a content deal with Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS). The decline today is a result of mixed feelings on the deal, as some believe it will lead to eventual growh in subscribers, while others think it is too costly. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Under the deal, Netflix will become the exclusive U.S. subscription television service for first-run live-action and animated feature films from The Walt Disney Studios. Also included in the deal are high-profile Disney direct-to-video new releases, which will be made available on Netflix starting in 2013.

Despite losses elsewhere, hard-disk drive makers gained on Wednesday, after Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) accelerated its 25-cent-a-share dividend to shareholders of record as of December 14. The payment will be dished out on December 26. 

Shares in the company rose more than 8%, while rival Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX) stock rose more than 4.4%, and OCZ Technology (NASDAQ:OCZ) gained over 12%. 

The tech-heavy Nasdaq was down more than 10 points on Wednesday afternoon, while the Dow and S&P 500 indices both posted gains on China optimism and U.S. economic data. 

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