[4:30 PM] Apple Stock Watch: Apple Offers Thanks For Higher Stock
by Wes George
Historically, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is a good day on Wall Street, and this year didn't disappoint investors. Led by the Internet stocks and high tech consumer product vendors, it looks as if investors expect a digital Christmas buying spree. Guess who was on their shopping list?
The Dow advanced 12.5 points (0.11%) to close at 11008. Volume was near 719 millions shares traded.
In general, the stock market continues to soar on the strong US dollar and increased capital flow into the US stock markets from foreign investors. In part, the dollar is robust because the Euro is so weak, sinking to new lows recently against the Yen, British Sterling and the dollar.
Moreover, The US economy is growing at a faster rate than thought early this month. The gross domestic product, or how many goods and services the US economy delivers, was revised upward from 4.8% reported for the July-September quarter to a 5.5% annual growth rate. This bodes well for retailers and "e-tailers"--on line consumer goods stores-- alike.
The Nasdaq swelled 77.62 (2.32%) to close at 3420.49 on heavy volume of 1.2 billion shares traded.
The S&P 500 rose 12.44 points (0.89%) to close at 1417.08.
In today's abbreviated bond trading session the 30-year US Treasury bond was down 7/32 to close at 98 26/32, while the yield rose to 6.21% from 6.19% on Tuesday. The bond market didn't like the implications for rising inflation from the newly revised upward GDP numbers. Bond traders are speculating that the Feds will raise rates again in March to cool the economy down.
Apple shares continued their upward trajectory due to the announcement earlier this week that Apple's iBook is the single best selling notebook computer in the retail market as we enter the hot Christmas shopping season. Apple is up 1 13/16 (1.95%) to close at 94 5/8 after rising over 2 points yesterday on high volume. Today's volume was low at 1.9 million AAPL shares trading hands.
In Apple related stocks today, Macromedia, Symantec, and Akamai were all marginally down. While Adobe and Arm Holdings managed to gain a bit.
Apple's Power PC partners didn't partake in today's fun. Motorola was up an 1/8 after being down most of the day to close at 116 15/16. IBM lost 2 points to close at 104 1/16. An article in this morning's Wall Street Journal questioned an IBM accounting procedure.
In other PC stocks it was a good day for the vendors. Dell soared 2 1/16 to close at 43 5/16. Gateway was up 1 13/16 to close at 79 1/4. Another winning day for Hewlett Packard, up 3 7/16 to end at 97 1/2. There wasn't any news to explain the strength, just the general feeling of investors that a lot of Christmas trees will have computers beneath them this year.
Intel rose 3 3/16 to end the day at 82 3/16 after they got a shot in the arm with an upgrade to "strong buy" from Banc of America Securities and a price target increase to 110 a share from 100.
Some stocks, especially wireless telecom plays like Nextel (NXTL) and ATT (T) really soared today. Sun Microsystems was up 7 3/8 to close at 134 1/2. The Linux service company, Red Hat Inc. (RHAT) has almost doubled its share price since Judge Jackson's findings of fact revealed Microsoft's monopolistic tendencies. Red Hat climbed 25 3/16 to close at 168 15/16.
For full quotes on all the companies mentioned in this article, we have assembled this set of quotes at Yahoo! for your reference. We also have many of these same quotes reported live (20 minute delay) on our home page. For other stories regarding Apple's stock activity, visit our Apple Stock Watch Special Report.
[4:00 PM] Make Those Animations With Mac OS 9 In Animation Maker Update
Voget Selbach Enterprises has released an update to two of their product offerings, Animation Maker and Kids Animation Maker. The update brings Mac OS 9 compatibility. According to VSE:
Voget Selbach Enterprises (VSE) released today updates to VSE Animation Maker, their GIF animation tool, and Kids Animation Maker, an animation application for children.
VSE Animation Maker allows you to create GIF animations with an easy to use interface. Kids Animation Maker is aimed at younger Mac users to learn the basics of animation. Both applications are widely used in schools all over the world.
The updates fix some minor issues with Mac OS 9. Also, the applications now support the VSE partner program which has started yesterday.
You can find more information on the products at the company's web site. Animation Maker is priced at US$19.95.
[2:30 PM] Leave Your SETI@home Clients Running This Weekend!
Team Mac Observer, our SETI@home team, continues to sheen along and has grown to 323 members. If you need more information on SETI@home, read all about it. Unfortunately, last night we slipped from the #21 Club Team to the #22 Club Team, but this weekend could help reverse that! We are asking all Team members to leave their computers on and SETI@home clients running, during the long holiday weekend as long as it is safe to do so. If we all do that, we should be able to get back to #21 as we are only 3 work units shy of Team Quebec. In fact, we could gain a lot of ground on the #20 team too. The good people at Techworks are helping out. They have gone from running 3 Macs for the Team to running 30 of them! From Bruce Reilly of Techworks:
You might have noticed TechWorks falling behind in Team Mac Observer. Down to the 80's last Friday. Not any longer! With the help of our Technical Support team, we now have over 30 Macs crunching data for SETI. This includes a 450MHz G4 and G3, 350MHz G3, and numerous other PowerMacs. An interesting event on Monday--one of our data packets had an Anomaly that the SETI software flagged in red. Then a message came on the screen that told us to alert SETI.....this was rather exciting for all of us.
Thanks for being sponsors of the team,
It would be VERY exciting if the Techworks Team found something! That would be a great if a Team Mac Observer member actually found ET! Let's hope it turns out to be something interesting.
Dan Knight from Low End Mac also sent us a note:
Darn, we slipped to 22nd place overnight, just a few work units behind Quebec.
If you have a way of contacting members of Team Mac Observer via e-mail, you might suggest they keep their Macs running over the long weekend. ;-)
BTW, I've been out sick most of the past week, but my Blue G3/300 at work keeps crunching work units in my absence. I finally broke into the Top 50 on our team last week.
Dan's right of course! :-) In the meanwhile, while you are visiting with family and friends this weekend, get them to sign up for SETI@home and Team Mac Observer. It's very easy to do so, and we have all the easy instructions for you. We have the fastest Mac team in the Top 100 Club Teams and we are right on the edge from being in the Top 20 again.
If you would like your company logo on the Team Mac Observer home page, just sign up two or more computers on the Team and let us know about it. We will then add your logo to the Team page. This stuff is easy folks, and it's a lot of fun to participate. Macintosh computers blow the doors off of Windows boxes when it comes to speed and the Mac platform has the 2nd highest number of completed units behind Windows. You can help further this by signing up with Team Mac Observer now!
[8:30 AM] Unreal Tournament Final Demo W/Rave Support Released
As reported by Mac Gamer's Ledge, the battle for the best multiplayer, first person shooter, blow-up-everything-and-have-a-great-time-doing-it-game heated up yesterday with the Mac release of the full Unreal Tournament (UT) Demo. The new demo adds support for Apple's graphics card of choice, the ATI Rage 128. Also fixed, apparently, was a problem with hosting online games in the original UT demo. The new version supports hosting online tournaments.
You can information about the new Unreal Tournament Demo from a number of sites, but our Mac Daily Network partner Mac Gamer's Ledge has collected download links and news about the UT Demo. You can find more information at their web site.
The Mac Observer Spin:The most noticeable differences between the software rendered version and the new RAVE version are enhanced lighting effects, most prominent in firing certain weapons and in atmospheric lighting, enhanced smoke effects (wait until you fire the rocket launcher), and improved frame rates. On one machine, a G3/400 with 192MB RAM, frame rates jumped from around 18fps to near 30fps, with all of the advanced graphical effects enabled.
This is truly a great time for the Mac gaming community, perhaps the historical high point. Never have such graphically impressive and immersive games existed, and to have two released almost simultaneously (along with Quake 3 Arena) is a delight for gamers everywhere. Traditionally, the Mac community would have to wait weeks or months for comparable releases, but with UT and Q3, that has changed. With other potential mega-hit titles around the corner, such as Star Wars Episode One: Racer, and the recent release of the smash titles Sim City 3000 and Tomb Raider III, the Mac gaming community is justifiably giddy.
If for no other reason than to be amazed at the technology and sheer beauty of both games, we at The Mac Observer recommend that you download the demo versions of both UT and Q3. The demo versions are free, and are quite robust in their features. A number of Mac Observer staff members have been playing UT since the original demo was released, and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
[8:30 AM] MacLaunch Launches Mac Finance Services
The Macintosh focused internet portal site, MacLaunch, has introduced new financial features. MacLaunch users now have a powerful array of tools for tracking stocks and investments. According to MacLaunch:
In partnership with Stockpoint, MacLaunch now provides its users with free access to global online investment tools and financial market information. Using "MacLaunch Finance", Mac users are now able to track stock performance, manage personalized portfolios, stay abreast of vital company information and follow global economic trends, all within the confines of a service dedicated to meeting the unique needs of Macintosh users.
MacLaunch is dedicated to providing a wide range of online information and communication services with a decidedly Mac-centric twist. Picking up where standard Internet portal sites fall short for the Mac user community, MacLaunch combines Mac-centric news, opinions, software updates, shopping opportunities and a fully searchable database of Mac-related Internet sites with standard portal tools such as free e-mail, chat services, news, sports, weather, financial management tools and a global Internet directory/search service.
MacLaunch is a service of the Mac Portal Company, Inc., a privately held concern based on Long Island, New York.
Stockpoint is a leading business-to-business provider of global online investment tools and market information. Stockpoint excels in seamlessly integrating customizable, sophisticated financial content and applications into client web sites. In doing so, Stockpoint allows organizations such as brokerages, commercial & investment banks, mutual fund companies, 401(k) providers, web portals and media companies to reliably outsource key Web site responsibility and benefit from industry leading functionality.
You can find more information on the new financial features at the MacLaunch web site.
[8:30 AM] Mac Educational Math Title Announced
MacMUSE Software has released Math Wizard 1.0. Math Wizard promises to help students from elementary school range to high school. According to MacMUSE:
Math Wizard is a program containing 4 unique, challenging, and educational math games for upper elementary to high school math students. Users solve randomly created problems to earn points which are stored from one session to another. The students progress through ranks until they reach the rank of Math Wizard and their names are entered into the Math Wizard list. Five levels of play make the program challenging, yet rewarding for students of various abilities. The game includes colorful graphics and customizable sounds which can be turned off for classroom play.
Math Wizard 1.0 requires a Macintosh with at least a 13 in. screen (640x480) and running System 7.x or later. It requires 2 Megs free RAM and 1.6 Meg hard drive space. The game includes colorful graphics and online help.
Math Wizard is available as shareware for US$10 for a single license, and $70 for a site license. You can find more information at the MacMUSE web site.
A new Mac focused online publication has launched, The MacMind. An affiliate of Cortland Media, The MacMind will provide it's own spin on Mac related news and products. According to The MacMind:
TheMacMind provides news, reviews, how-tos, and much more to Mac users all over the world daily.
TheMacMind has many exciting features and articles planned for the near future, including a Y2K Bash, a MacWorld Expo 2000 Extravaganza, guides to HTML and web site making tips. Jake Sargent, the webmaster of TheMacMind, says, "We're trying our best to make TheMacMind the easiest and most enjoyable place online to get your Mac news, how-tos, and rumors." He goes on to say, "I hope were trying hard enough to provide just that."
To help readers get all the Mac-info they need, TheMacMind is also doing a search for readers who would like to volunteer to contribute articles. Interested users are directed to visit the web site for more information.
You can find more information at the official The MacMind web site.