Dell Helps Knock Apple 7% Higher

| Apple Stock Watch

Democratic presidential hopeful Al Gore announced today that... Whoops, we thought is January of 2000 again, so high were todayis gains in the markets. The Bulls ran rampant on the Bearsi sacred hunting grounds throughout the day in a huge rally. The Nasdaq jumped by almost 9% while the Dow and the S&P tacked on just more than 4% each. There were several factors that added onto todayis upward movement, including good news for Yahoo!, mediocre news from Dell, and no news from China.

Yahoo! was upgraded by Lehman Bothers from a Market Perform to a Buy. The company announced a new partnership with German giant SAP to develop Web portals for large corporations and their customers. Yahoo! is considered a bellwether stock for the Internet sector, and the company is in the midst of a search for a new CEO.

Dell, was the biggest factor for todayis trading as the PC maker announced that they had achieved the staggering goal of meeting lowered estimates for Q1. Analysts began pouring out of the woodwork like roaches in the dark to proclaim their love and admiration for the company. Dell announced they would be targeting higher growth outside the US, where the company currently holds a 5% market share, far smaller than their US market share. Dell, another bellwether technology company, meeting their Q1 estimates is seen as a sign that perhaps the economy might be moving in a positive direction. The companyis stock closed up 3 points (13.52%) on heavy volume. Their leadership helped propel the rest of the tech sector, and indeed, the entire stock market, higher.

The situation with China and the controversial spy plane also helped cheer investors, primarily by not providing any important news. No news is often good news when it comes to crisis, and that seems to be the case today. The stand off continues with China demanding an apology and the US standing firm that no apology is appropriate while President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell have both made an effort to express regret for the missing Chinese pilot who was involved with the initial collision. Wolf Blitzer has a somewhat interesting report on "behind the scenes" possibilities for the situation.

Are good time here to stay, again? There seems to be no one on Wall Street anywhere near ready to say that. Most analysts seem unconvinced that todayis rally represents a bottom, and many are saying it is simply one of those rallies that occurs in a Bear market. Time will tell, of course, and the biggest factors will be whether, or not, another bellwether, or even a big name company releases anything close to a profit warning. With the new earnings season having begun, itis anyoneis guess. All of the stocks we track in the Stock Watch closed in the black. Both major indexes traded in strong volumes.

Speaking of earnings season, Apple is set to announce their Q2 results on April 18th. The company is the only PC maker to have not lowered guidance for the quarter during the quarter. Apple did lower guidance in the Fall for Q2, but has since been silent on the issue. This has been noted by a few analysts, but will likely be a continued subject of conversation as we get closer to the announcement date. It is our opinion that a Q2 announcement that meets or exceeds estimates will be received very favorably by investors.

Apple soared with the eagles today too, though not quite as high as Dell. The companyis stock closed 7% higher than it did yesterday on moderate volume. AAPL bounced off of highs above 21.50, to close below the 21 level.

Apple closed at 20.87, a gain of 1.37 (+7.03%), on volume of 7,976,500 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 1785.00, up 146.20 (+8.92%), on volume of 2,270,869,000 shares trading hands.

The Dow closed at 9918.05, up 402.63 (+4.23%), on volume of 1,340,780,000 shares trading hands.

The S&P 500 closed at 1151.44, higher by 48.19 (+4.37%).

Akamai rose more than 25%, in the first big rise in weeks for the company. AKAM closed at 7 1/2, up 1 1/2 (+25.00%), on heavy volume of 6,867,100 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Adobe closed at 34.9, a sharp gain of 5.38 (+18.22%), on light volume of 4,839,000 shares trading hands.

IBM closed higher at 98.21, a gain of 6.21 (+6.75%), on volume of 12,505,200shares trading hands.

Motorola also posted a rare gain (in recent history) to close at 14.95, up 0.90 (+6.41%), on light volume of 11,452,000 shares trading hands.

Earthlink closed at 11 3/8, up 5/8 (+5.81%), on light volume of 1,208,900 shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 16.50, a strong gain of 1.76 (+11.94%), on volume of 3,286,000 shares trading hands.

Dell kicked off todayis rally and closed at 25 3/16, up 3 (+13.52%), on heavy volume of 58,370,300 shares trading hands.

Intel posted a strong gain and closed at 25 5/8, a gain of 3 (+13.26%), on strong volume of 67,706,400 shares trading hands.

Microsoft closed at 56 3/4, higher by 4 13/16 (+9.27%), on strong volume of 56,726,100 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.

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