AAPL Holds The Line at $19.98

Appleis stock continued to trend lower for a third day, but managed to stabilize a bit higher as the week ended. The broader stock markets declined on a slew of poor earnings forecasts for the rest of the year.

Appleis stock squeaked out a 2 cent gain or 0.10% to close at 19.98 on volume of 7.8 million shares. All totaled AAPL delivered its worst MWNY week performance in memory, falling over 22% since Tuesday.

In the Mac media, pundits are bitterly arguing whether the Mac faithful expect too much from Mac World Expositions or whether Apple Inc. is failing to innovate at the pace necessary to grow its business. Whatever oneis opinion on the topic may be, itis clear that Apple investors have reacted to the news this week by overwhelming the demand for shares of AAPL with supply.

"When you get a reputation for being the sultan of cool," speaking of Steve Jobis keynote address, "itis tough to sort of one-up yourself every time,ii notes Chris Le Tocq, principal analyst at Guernsey Research.

Todd Kort of Gartner Dataquest Group appeared on CNBC today to report that a recent survey indicates PC sales could show negative global growth rates for the first time ever this year. According to Mr. Kort, one reason is that fewer people than ever need to upgrade their PCs since by 1999 chip speeds had climbed to levels that are satisfactory for most uses. Mooreis Law is simply no longer the driving force behind PC sales.

Meanwhile, as if anyone still cares what analysts think, Charles Schwab notified its clients via e-mail alert that, "14 Analysts decrease their annual earnings estimate (for Apple). The Consensus Estimate changed from $-0.22 to $-0.25," for fiscal 2001.

The Nasdaq slipped 17 points (-0.84%) to close at 2029, on volume of 1.6 billion shares trading hands. Microsoftis poor sales forecast dragged most tech sectors lower. Traders were pleased that the Nasdaq managed to keep its head above the 2000 level after testing it three times this week.

In a classic sign of being close to a bear marketsi tail end, lawyers are beginning to sue brokerage firms for causing clients to lose their shirts with overly bullish research recommendations made during the height of market euphoria.

The Dow lost 33 points (-0.31%) to close at 10576, on volume of 1.1 billion shares.

The S&P 500 lost 4.17 points (-0.34%) to close at 1210.85

Adobe lost 1.19 to 40.69.

Akamai lost 0.20 to 8.10.

EarthLink lost 0.91 to 16.37.

IBM climbed 1.70 to close at 105.70. Big Blue got a boost from a C$1.4 billion Air Canada information services outsourcing contract. Also, IBMis ViaVoice, voice recognition software, won best of show at Mac World Expo.

Macromedia gained 0.29 to close at 17.20.

Motorola lost 0.64 to close at 18.50.

Dell fell 0.49 to close at 27.89.

Gateway got clobbered, down 3.60 (-24%) to close at 10.99, after yesterdayis announcement of a net loss of $20.8 million or negative $0.06 per share, saying the best it can hope for is to break-even this year. According to a company press release, "Gateway sold 923,000 units worldwide in the second quarter, down 21 percent year over year and down 16 percent from the first quarter of 2001."

Compaq dropped 1.08 (-6.84%) to close at 14.70.

Intel shed 0.03 to 29.93.

Microsoft lost 3.39 to close at 69.18. Not surprisingly, Microsoft said it is "opposed the governmentis request for a U.S. appeals court to expedite the antitrust case against the company back to a lower court ahead of schedule." Itis in Redmondis advantage to delay justice as long as possible.

You can also check out our Apple Financial Boards, a new moderated forum for Apple Investors and people who are interested in Appleis financial dealings.

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