The Fed is meeting on Wednesday, January 31st, to decide how much to lower interest rates. Technically, they are meeting to discuss whether to do anything with rates, but the consensus after Fed Chairman Alan Greenspanis testimony to the Senate last week is that rates will in fact go down. The only question is how much. At this point, anything less than 50 basis points (a half point) will be considered disappointing, while a move to lower by 50 basis points is largely already figured into the markets.
The results for the market were that many stocks were up, especially in the tech sector. Appleis stock took off early and never looked back, trading up more than 10% on almost twice the normal volume.
Disney announced today that they would be terminating their Go.com "Internet Portal," and converting stock in that company into shares of Disney. The loss of one of the major portals will likely be seen as a good thing for those companies that depend on Internet advertising for revenue and the supply side of that equation just got a bit smaller.
On the technical side, the NYSE officially moved to decimal trading instead of the fraction-based system employed for the last century. The move to pennies, nickels and dimes was described as "smooth as silk" by a variety of commentators, spokespersons, and analysts. The Nasdaq is still testing its system for decimal trading, but has announced it will move to decimals by April 9th of this year.
Apple rocketed up today. The company will be holding an investor and shareholder meeting on Wednesday, January 31st. There was no Apple-specific public news that contributed to the rise, but most of the hardware stocks traded up today. The stock closed at 21 11/16, a gain of 2 1/8 (+10.86%) on heavy volume of 15,276,200 shares trading hands.
The Nasdaq closed at 2838.34, a gain of 57.04 (+2.05%).
The Dow closed at 10702.19, up 42.21 (+0.40%).
The S&P 500 made it a hat trick for the major indexes by closing up at 1364.17, a gain of 9.22 (+0.68%).
Akamai has been hired by Microsoft to do with their Linux servers what apparently canit be done with their own Windows-based servers, and that is to maintain reliability. This is a HUGE contract for Akamai in terms of money, credibility, and exposure. The company will be mirroring Microsoftis servers around the world in case of problems like Microsoft experienced last week with misconfigured routers and DoS attacks. Akamai traded higher to close at 31 13/16, a gain of 2 1/16 (+6.93%) on strong volume of 5,069,000 shares trading hands. Apple is a major shareholder of Akamai.
Adobe was one of the few stocks we track to close lower. The company was all over the news today with announcements about improving e-books. The stock closed at 54, a loss of 4 1/16 (-7.00%) on volume of 5,487,200 shares trading hands.
IBM closed at 114.98, a gain of 0.79 (+0.69%) on light volume of 5,125,000 shares trading hands.
Motorola closed higher at 23.10, a gain of 0.54 (+2.38%) on volume of 10,950,700 shares trading hands.
Earthlink will be announcing earnings tomorrow. The stock closed at 8 1/2, up 1/16 (+0.74%) on volume of 735,500 shares trading hands.
Gateway announced after the bell that founder Ted Waitt would be rejoining the company as CEO. The company also announced layoffs to meet new forecasts for the company. The stock closed at 21.66, up 0.89 (+4.29%) on volume of 2,704,800 shares trading hands. Expect this stock to be active in tomorrowis trading. After hours trading today saw the stock trading higher.
Dell joined the upward stampede to close at 28 7/16, a strong gain of 1 15/16 (+7.31%) on strong volume of 36,158,600 shares trading hands.
Hewlett Packard announced that they would be cutting 2% of their work force, but the stock still moved higher. HP closed at 37.53, a strong gain of 3.09 (+8.97%) on volume of 7,908,400 shares trading hands.
Intel closed at 37 1/16, a gain of 1 3/16 (+3.31%) on volume of 49,063,500 shares trading hands.
Microsoft filed final papers in their appeal of the DoJis antitrust case against them. The stock moved higher today to close at 64 1/2, a gain of 1/2 (+0.78%) on volume of 42,489,500 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 Appleis stock activity, visit our updated Apple Stock Watch Special Report.