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June 6th, 2000

[4:45 PM] Apple Stock Watch: Summer Rally Stalls, AAPL Climbs
by Wes George

This summer rally sure isn't a Disney World ride! At this rate it'll take us a year to get back to the Nasdaq's high set in March. But who's complaining? The Nasdaq -- up over 600 points in four days -- decided to melt back a bit in the last hour of today's trading. Meanwhile, Apple's stock surges ahead on news that Apple holds the number one slot in sales to the US and worldwide education markets.

Weak retail sales at Circuit City and other retailers show that the economy is slowing and that's bad for corporate profits, if good for odds against more interest rate hikes from the Fed. Wall Street is now in the grip of a Catch-22. If the economy slows that's bad for earnings and stock prices fall. If the economy surges ahead, the Feds raise interest rates and stock prices will fall.

San Francisco Federal Reserve President Robert Parry said that it is premature for the Fed to declare victory in its war on inflation and this was interpreted to mean the Fed does have an interest rate hike bias going into their June meeting after all. The latest odds from Fed watchers had been for the Fed to sit tight this month. In fact, Wall Street's little summer rally was largely based on the assumption of no more rate hikes till after the US Presidential election in November.

"The market is marking time as much as anything else" ahead of the FOMC policy meeting on June 28th, said Greg Nie, chief technical analyst at First Union to the Wall Street Journal. "A mixed session with some positive hints, especially in breadth."

In contrast to the US government data which shows unemployment rising in May, a private report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas shows that job cuts actually fell 27% from April's level in May. The report suggests what many economists already suspected -- May's employment report numbers from the Department of Commerce are notorious volatile this time of year and the labor market remains extremely tight.

Productivity rose at a seasonally adjust annual rate of 2.4% in the first quarter according to the US labor department. The highest levels of productivity growth occurred in the durable goods manufacturing sector, which posted an 11.3% increase in the first quarter after a 11.1% increase in the fourth quarter of 1999. Productivity is the economy's most important tool for combating inflation.

Apple climbed 1 9/16 or 1.71%, to close at 92 7/8 on above average volume of 4.6 million shares. Apple had traded as high as $96 3/4 in the early afternoon before traders decided the tech stock summer rally looks toppy and rushed to cash out.

The Nasdaq shed 65.37 points (-1.71%) to closed near the day's low at 3756 on volume of 1.6 billion shares traded.

The Dow fell 79 points (-0.74%) to close at 10735 on volume of 939 million shares.

The S&P 500 gained 9.79 points (-0.67%) to close at 1457.84.

The Mac Observer Stock Watch Virtual Portfolio had a weak day along the general softness on the Nasdaq.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai gave back 7 1/2 to close at 87 9/16. ARM Holdings lost 1 5/16 to close at 31 9/16. Adobe got smacked down 13 bucks to close at 115 11/16. Earthlink fell 13/16 to close at 18 3/16. Macromedia lost 3 3/16 to 93 11/16. IBM fell 7/16 to 112 3/8.

Motorola inaugurated a new business unit named Worldwide Interactive Systems to aid in acquisitions in the global broadband cable networking market. Motorola lost a dollar to close at 37 3/8.

Apple's competitors: Hewlett Packard dipped 2 5/16 to close at 118 dollars. Gateway climbed 15/16 to close at 52 13/16. Compaq gained a dollar to close at 27 7/8. Microsoft rose 2 3/4 to 69 5/8.

Intel had a weak day as news broke that its Timna microprocessor will be late to the market in 2001 because of a faulty memory component. Intel lost 3 dollars to close at 129 9/16

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.

Apple



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