AAPL Slips Below $50 Per Share As the Quarter Wraps Up

Another tough day on Wall Street. The culprits are the usual suspects. High fuel prices and weak euro are feeding fears that corporate profits will dissipate going forward. Appleis stock continued down as investors worry Appleis earnings could be the next to tumble over the euro-to-dollar exchange rate. If there was ever a moment for Apple to step forward with some guidance for Wall Street now is the time.

Itis never a good sign when the big cap technology stocks begin to break through formerly robust support levels, but thatis what going on this month in the stock market.

Today, it was Yahoois (YHOO) turn to break through support on fears the company might not meet earnings expectations. Shares of Yahoo! fell 12 1/16 to close at 90 3/8.

Ralph Bloch of Raymond James said in a CNBC interview that the markets are more oversold than at any time since March. Dell, Microsoft, Intel, Cisco and Yahoo look absolutely sick according to Mr. Block. He advised those who own stock in this market that it is, "too late to sell and probably too early to buy."

Apple sank 2 1/2 to close at 48 15/16 or 4.86% on high volume of 7.15 million shares. So far Appleis management has issued no profit warnings, indicating the company must believe it will meet or beat its earnings target for the quarter ending this Friday, in spite of a weak euro.

A sincere post by KevinVanWinkle on the AAPL board at Raging Bull succinctly sums up the nervousness so apparent in the chart. He ends his post by saying that if AAPL dips into the 40s, "be prepared to make your move because it will probably be a very good buying opportunity."

Itis disappointing that AAPL has dipped so low again. The stock is now sitting on the lower end of its long term supporting trend line, which could be the best buying opportunity since early this summer, assuming the trend doesnit break down. One more day of negativity will decisively break AAPLis upward trend and send the stock to the low $40s in search of support. Tomorrow would be the day for AAPL to bounce on high volume or suffer the consequences.

The Expo 2000 begins on Thursday in London. Macworld online reported, "Show organizer International Exhibitions and Conferences (IEC), claims the show will see over 30 new products launched or shown, including the new iBooks and Mac OS X beta test CDs that Apple announced at the Apple Expo in Paris earlier this month. Most significant will be Microsoft showing off Office 2001, the brand new version of the companyis market-leading Mac suite of productivity software."

MacCentral reports the keynote address will be delivered by Phil Schiller, Appleis VP of worldwide marketing, and broadcast via QuickTime.

Meanwhile, on October 9-12 in Beverly Hills, Apple is hosting QuickTime Live!, a suave attempt to inform the media moguls of LA where itis at in multimedia content viewing on the Internet. According to Appleis promotional pitch, "Over 50 million downloads make QuickTime the largest installed base of clients for viewing rich media, digital video, and streaming content over the Internet. The growing demand for content is producing new opportunities for eCommerce and for organizations to communicate their message."

The Nasdaq fell 32 points (-0.89%) for the fifth consecutive negative session to close at 3656 on high volume of 1.9 billion shares. The Nasdaq is down 14% for September.

The Internet stocks got whacked by a profit warning from Priceline.com (PCLN). Shares of Priceline fell 42% to 10 3/4.

The Dow lost only 2.9 points to close at 10628 on volume of 1.16 billion shares.

The S&P 500 dropped 0.64 points (0.05%) to close at 1426.57.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai scored a new all time low, dropping 6 7/8 to 50 1/2. Adobe fell 2 15/16 to 148 3/8. Earthlink fell 1/2 to 9 3/4, a mere 1/2 point above its 52-week low.

Motorola shed 1 7/16 to 28 5/8. TheStreet.com said MOT dropped, "on speculation it would miss its third-quarter earnings targets. The company told Reuters it does not comment on rumors and said it has not changed its earnings guidance." For much of the day Motorolais stock was trading below its 52-week low of 28 1/16.

IBM dropped 1 3/8 to 117 3/4. It was just three weeks ago when IBM hit a 52-week high of 135 bucks

Appleis competitors: Dell lost 1 3/16 to 32 7/16, a new 52-week low. Gateway lost 4.55 to 49.06. Compaq gained 0.12 to 29.15.

Shares of Microsoft dived 2 1/16 to 60 5/8, just 1/4 point above MSFTis 52-week low. Intel climbed 9/16 to 43 7/8.

Hewlett Packard soared 4 11/16 to 102 13/16 after CEO Carly Fiorina reassured Wall Street HP is on track for the quarter. Ms. Fiorina said, "Weire very comfortable with the estimates. Our European business is strong. Our ink-jet supplies business is strong. Our PC business is strong. Yes, we really mean it. Yes, weill deliver it."

In economic news: The US Bureau of Labor Statistics announced it will revise the CPI (consumer price index) number tomorrow morning because of a calculation error. The new number is expected to be about 0.3% higher for the last 12-month period . This comes as a surprise and may alter the climate of the Federal Reserveis meeting next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, durable goods orders, a measure of how well items that last 3 or more years are selling, climbed 2.9% in August

The Mac Observer Stock Watch Virtual Portfolio is near its low for the year.

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 Appleis stock activity, visit our Apple Stock Watch Special Report.

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