Today in Tech: Reading Tea Leaves on IBM

IBM says it's buying Emptoris, Amazon gets a bullish call, and Verizon customers finally get the Galaxy Nexus.

Let's have a look at what's driving the sector this morning:

Amazon's been initiated at outperform at Morgan Keegan, with a $210 price target, on expectations it can continue gaining share in North America. Likely to help Amazon gain share? Its scheme to get customers using their smartphones to comparison shop in the physical stores of rivals.

IBMsays it's acquiring Emptoris, a software company that helps customers squeeze value out of the supply chain, right on the heels of its DemandTec and Curam Software last week. Let's take a moment and connect the dots: IBM is buying DemandTec, which helps retailers make more efficient decisions; Curam, which helps governments get more efficient with social services; and now Emptoris, which helps streamline supply chains. IBM is not only getting its Christmas shopping done early, it looks like it's positioning itself for a year where customers will be keen to cut costs.

And Verizon's finally launching the Galaxy Nexus today -- the hotly anticipated flagship phone running the latest version of Android, dubbed Ice Cream Sandwich. Cost? $300 with contract.

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