Tech stocks got a shot in the arm today on good comments from Morgan Stanley on networking megalopolis Cisco. Reuters is also reporting that Global Crossing Ltd. will be deploying a couple of new routers from Cisco. That was perceived as a sign of renewed growth in the sector which has been hard hit from repeated earning warnings from Cisco and a huge US$1.5 billion inventory write-off from the company. Analysts and investors feel that this is pointing to a recovering economy. According to another Reuters report:
"Weire seeing a rotation into technology," said Alan Skrainka, chief market strategist at Edward Jones. Thereis a growing sense that the U.S. economy has bottomed out and will show improvement in the months ahead."
The result was a boost in tech stocks, while the Dow posted a small loss. The Nasdaq played in positive territory throughout the day, while the Dow only peeked in on them a couple of times in afternoon trading. Volume for the Nasdaq was very strong with 2.5 billion shares trading hands. The Dowis volume was moderate with 1.3 billion shares trading hands. All eyes are still on the employment data which will come out on Friday. That will be one of the important indicators that the Fed will be considering heading into the mid-May meeting and will greatly impact whether or not, or by how much, the Fed will cut rates.
Speaking of Global Crossing, Asia Global Crossing, the Asian-based arm of the high speed networking company (co-owned by Microsoft), lost some US$60 million, during the first quarter, on revenues of US$9.5 million. Thatis up from revenues of, wait for it, US$800,000 during the year ago period. It is just us, or do those numbers just seem way out of line in every conceivable fashion? The company beat expectations. Hooray. In other Microsoft world domination news, the company is involved in an absurdly complex merger deal (the link is to an excellent Wall Street Journal article) that will eventually see GMis Hughes Electronics Corp. subsidiary merged with News Corp.is Sky Global Networks satellite unit. Microsoft is going to be kicking in some US$3 billion in cash at this stage of the game, but negotiations are far from over. This deal has been in the works since shortly before the parting of the Red Sea, but Microsoft appears to have joined in the fun only recently.
We began covering Macromedia in the Apple Stock Watch today. The company reported earnings after the bell and left investors wishing they hadnit. Weill start with the sad news that the company has cut some 200 jobs in an effort to cut costs. We wish those former employees the best of luck. The company reported a pro forma profit of US$8.4 million (15 cents per share), half that of the year ago quarter. Analysts had expected a pro forma profit of 20 cents. The company reported revenues of US#376.4 million during their fiscal year, which ended at the end of March. Reuters has a full report on the companyis earnings. The stock closed higher by more than 9%, but tanked after the closing bell.
On to Apple news. Steve Fortuna of Merrill Lynch doesnit get it. According to a CBS Marketwatch article, he says:
"While the new iBooks were certainly necessary, we do not believe that they will have a significant impact on Appleis financial performance this quarter or on the companyis outlook due in large part to the weak economic environment," Merrill Lynch analyst Steven Fortuna said in a research note.
Yeah, little impact. We have a great little slam on Mr. Fortuna, but we are going to save it for an editorial tomorrow. Suffice it to say that people are spitting up on themselves in an effort to say nice things about the new iBook. Thatis going to translate into big sales. Heck, even David Coursey, a long time critic of Apple, says that it is the best product on the market in its price range. Read his editorial, itis a good one. Note the token slap at Apple in the end.
Apple closed at a new 7 month high, going back to September 28th, 2000. The stock traded in light volume, and traded in a range of less than a dollar. AAPL explored all of the space that dollar offered, however, including a couple of dips into negative territory. The dayis range was 25.76 - 26.70
Apple closed at 26.59, up 0.66 (+2.55%), on light volume of 6,580,800 shares trading hands.
The Nasdaq closed at 2220.60, up 52.36 (+2.41%), on volume of 2,584,484,000 shares trading hands.
The Dow closed at 10876.68, down 21.66 (-0.20%), on volume of 1,345,206,000 shares trading hands.
The S&P 500 closed at 1267.43, up 0.99 (+0.08%).
Adobe closed at 42.83, a loss of 1.22 (-2.77%), on volume of 6,282,800 shares trading hands.
Akamai shot up 26% on what seems to be no news. AKAM closed at 11.46, up 2.38 (+26.21%), on heavy volume of 7,531,900 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.
Earthlink closed at 13.19, up 1.29 (+10.84%), on triple normal volume with 9,034,500 shares trading hands.
Gateway is in violation of a debt-to-income obligation under a $300 million revolving credit facility. Wall Street didnit seem to care and the stock closed at 19.05, up a quarter (+1.33%), on light volume of 2,484,300 shares trading hands.
IBM closed at 115.40, down 3.11 (-2.62%), on volume of 9,706,200 shares trading hands.
Macromedia closed at 26, up 2.30 (+9.70%), on heavy volume of 2,462,200 shares trading hands.
Motorola closed at 16.48, a gain of 0.59 (+3.71%), on heavy volume of 15,388,700 shares trading hands.
Dell closed at 26.73, a rise of 0.97 (+3.77%), on volume of 35,583,900 shares trading hands.
Intel closed at 31.94, up 0.76 (+2.44%), on light volume of 45,024,300 shares trading hands.
Microsoft is going to be late shipping Windows 2002. For the second day in a row, we stand stunned from a bit of Microsoft news. MSFT closed at 69.76, a loss of 0.41( -0.58%), on strong volume of 46,432,200 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. 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.