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Apple Stock Watch - Analysts Come Out In Force For Apple, AAPL Closes At 23, Up 6%

by , 5:55 PM EST, March 23rd, 2001

Apple has been getting more and more attention for the release of Mac OS X, but the financial world has largely ignored the impending release until this week. Until today, to be more precise. There has been a scattering of financial reports here and there, but today we have seen three different analysts all come out saying that Mac OS X will have a positive affect on the company's long term outlook. Elyssa Jaffe of IdeaAdvisor.com says that the company will see increased sales of hardware because of the new OS and touts many of its features.

Trevor Newton called AAPL a buy at today's prices in an interview with On24. This is the most accurate analysis of Apple we have heard from an mainstream analyst in years. Kevin McCarthy of Credit Suisse First Boston said that Apple's outlook is strong and the company should outperform the rest of the PC industry.

Apple continues to garner many mainstream reports and headlines because of Mac OS X, and as we reported yesterday, most of them are positive. The Washington Post published three articles today: Reengineering The Mac Universe, Apple's OS X Biggest Change for Macintosh Since '84, and even an announcement for a Washington Apple Pi installation party. These reports were extremely positive for Apple, and there have been many more from other mainstream media outlets as well. Mixed with the good reports are a few critical pieces as well, such as a C|Net report focusing on the lack of shipping Native X apps. CNBC is reporting on Mac OS X during this writing. The report mirrors other reports that the new OS will have a positive impact on Apple's future.

The result for Apple's stock today was a 6% gain and a closing price of 23, the highest since October 4th of 2000 when Apple closed at 23.625. Volume was twice normal levels. The stock opened up in positive territory and remained in the black throughout the trading day. The stock traded in a range of 22 - 23 9/16.

Surrounding Apple's gains was a broader market rally. The Nasdaq was up 45 points in the first 3 minutes of trading. After a midday wave of selling, the Nasdaq rallied again to close with a solid 30 point gain. The Dow also rallied today as well, but there were no clear leaders. Investor sentiment has not necessarily shifted to the positive yet either. According to CBS Marketwatch:

Friday's advance was tempered, however, as many investors remained unconvinced that the six-month rout in share prices yet reflects the drag the faltering U.S. economy will have on earnings in coming quarters.

"The question is whether all the bad news on profits is out," said Nick Sargen, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, which manages funds for wealthy individuals. "The revision to profit expectations is the severest in memory, but it still begs the question of when the economy will pick up."

Volume for both major indexes was strong. Most of the stocks we track in the Stock Watch closed higher.

Apple closed at 23, a strong gain of 1 3/8 (+6.36%), on very heavy volume of 16,872,800 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 1928.68, up 30.98 (+1.63%), on volume of 2,290,594,000 shares trading hands.

The Dow closed at 9504.78, a gain of 115.30 (+1.23%), on volume of 1,369,149,000 shares trading hands.

The S&P 500 closed 1139.83, up 22.25 (+1.99%).

Akamai headed back down again today as the stock closed at 8 17/32, not enough to erase all of yesterday's gains as the stock fell 5/32 (-1.80%), on volume of 2,398,400 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Adobe received some positive comments from MarketMavens.com, and you can hear the report on On24. ADBE closed at 35 11/16, down 5/16 (-0.87%), on light volume of 4,637,500 shares trading hands.

IBM was upgraded by Buckingham Research from an Accumulate to a Strong Buy. The stock closed at 93.51, a gain of 4.41 (+4.95%), on strong volume of 12,233,600 shares trading hands.

Motorola announced 4,000 more job cuts in their networking sector. MOT closed at 15.99, a gain of 0.31 (+1.98%), on volume of 13,511,800 shares trading hands.

Earthlink climbed higher to close at 12, a gain of 5/8 (+5.49%), on volume of 2,644,200 shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 17.67, a gain of 0.81 (+4.80%), on volume of 2,633,400 shares trading hands.

Dell closed at 27 7/16, a gain of 1 3/16 (+4.52%), on strong volume of 48,730,700 shares trading hands.

Intel closed at 28 13/16, a gain of 1/8 (+0.44%), on heavy volume of 84,795,504 shares trading hands.

Microsoft closed at 56 9/16, up 2 9/16 (+4.75%), on strong volume of 49,759,600 shares trading hands.

For full quotes on all the companies mentioned in this article, we have assembled this set of quotes at Yahoo! for your reference. For other stories regarding Apple's stock activity, visit our updated Apple Stock Watch Special Report. You can also check out our Apple Financial Boards, a new moderated forum for Apple Investors and people who are interested in Apple's financial dealings.

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