The market ended the day, the month and the quarter in a decidedly downward trend. The NASDAQ Composite Index evidenced high levels of investor fatigue from the sluggish economy and lack of corporate revenue and earnings growth.
Stocks fell across the board like toppled dominoes that had been set in a precise pattern ready for a subtle nudge to begin the chain reaction. No single bit of news caused the dayis sell off, but downward momentum from Fridayis trading continued on Monday as investors moved cash to the sidelines, and traders waited pensively for the day and the quarter to end.
According to a Reuters Business News report, the Wilshire 5000 Index, perhaps the broadest measure of market performance, lost $1.9 billion in value during the current quarter. This includes September, which many describe as the worst trading month since the historic stock market meltdown fifteen years ago.
In the absence of positive economic news and clear guidance from corporate America concerning a discernable timetable for the return of corporate earnings growth, investor sentiment is falling victim to talk of war, continuing accounting scandals and a lack of substantive dialogue on important issues as the nation heads toward the biannual congressional election.
On Monday the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 109.52 to end the third calendar quarter at 7,591.93, itis lowest closing price since 1998. The S&P 500 Index slid 12.08 to finish at 815.29. The NASDAQ Composite Index dropped 27.10 to close at 1,172.06. Apple lost .22 to close at 14.50.
Over the weekend Apple Computer released a Public Beta of iSync, a technology designed to integrate various components of oneis digital life. The release of the iSync Public Beta closely follows Appleis decision to release its Rendezvous technology to the Open Source community. The combination of Rendezvous for developers and manufacturers and iSync for computer users extends Appleis digital lifestyle initiative to a new level of fruition. Watch for more announcements from Apple about Rendezvous and iSync in the coming weeks and months.
We ask readers who have downloaded the iSync Public Beta to post their impressions of the product in our discussion forums and join our 24/7 conversations about everything Mac. The Mac Observer offers a comprehensive series of forums for the discussion of all topics related to Macintosh computing.
The October 7th edition of Business Week features a listing of companies that the publication suggests has the worst boards of directors in America. The criteria used to make the determination as to what constitutes a bad or disinterested board of directors appears to be subjective at best, but Appleis place on the list is covered in a TMO report and is mentioned here for the purpose of reader information.
Forbes magazine reports on one stock analyst who sees Apple as an undervalued stock due to the companyis hefty cash position, its history of product innovation and its resilience in the two-year long industry recession. Read more about the analystis comments in our TMO coverage of the Forbes story.
Apple and Gateway
The Mac Observer offers readers an insightful comparison of Apple Computer and Gateway, Inc. as the two companies strive to regain lost market share and position themselves for future growth. Can Apple regain the market share it held seven years ago? Can Gateway find a way to stop losing money? Please read our TMO analysis of the two companies for more information.
Observer Martin Copper sent in a link to a Globe and Mail story about Dellis burgeoning derivatives dilemma. The TMO staff has been following Dellis aggressive share buy back program, its effects on the companyis balance sheet and the use of high-risk options in its financial activities. Dell has recently used about US$3.4 billion of its available cash to purchase its own shares in an effort to sustain earning per share growth during a challenging time in the PC industry. Please see the special TMO Stock Watch Report concerning Dell and its financial activities on Tuesday morningis news page.