The markets moved higher in early trading sparked by encouraging activity forecasts for the services sector. The markets moved lower during midday trading but rallied before the close in response to news from Oracleis CEO that the worldis number two software company will meet earnings expectations for the quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 9,796.80, up 108.96. The S&P 500 finished up 9.21 at 1,049.90. The NASDAQ Composite Index . moved up 17.14 to end the day at 1,595.26. AAPL ended down $.06 at $22.72.
On Tuesday the markets ended mixed with investor concerns that economic growth is failing to appear in estimates of profit growth contrasted with Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspanis comments about the strength and pace of economic growth. Although most experts donit expect the economy to continue to grow at the first quarteris torrid pace, the Fed chairman expects growth to remain on track with little short-term pressure on prices. The Fed remains steadfast in its efforts to combat inflation but does not see near-term evidence of increasing prices.
On Tuesday Apple Computer made a surprising announcement that the eMac will be made available in the retail channel. The 17-inch CRT successor to the original iMac was first released to the education market but will now be available in a single $1,099 configuration to consumers. Apple CEO Steve Jobs cited strong consumer interest in the eMac for Appleis decision to change its original distribution plan.
The Mac Observer continues to cover developments in Appleis efforts to meet its third fiscal quarter estimates for revenues and earnings. MacWorld UK offers an interesting look at one analystis positive view of Appleis stock. The eMac was released in the education market at the end of April and may now be offered in a $1,099 configuration to consumers to bolster Appleis presence in the lower-cost PC market. Apple still offers G3-based iMacs in the sub-$1,000 PC marketDell
According to a report posted by ecommerce.com IDC, the well-known market research firm claims Dell has lost the top spot in world-wide laptop sales to Toshiba. Soon after losing the number one ranking in total PC shipment due to the merger of HP and Compaq, Dell is finding strong competition in laptop sales. Although Dell maintains a commanding lead in US sales, Toshiba has seen strong growth in sales in Japan where Dell has little market exposure. Laptops continue to gain market share at the expense of desktop systems and Toshiba abandoned the desktop market a while ago to focus its sales efforts on portable computer.
According to a Reuters report, HP CEO Carly Fiorina expects total annual savings from the HP-Compaq merger to be around $3 billion, $500 million more than originally forecast. HP is accelerating the post-merger layoff schedule in an effort to reduce costs as quickly as possible. The leader of the worldis largest PC maker does not see a rebound in IT spending in HPis current fiscal year that ends in October.
IBM has announced that it will take a pre-tax charge of $2.5 billion to cover the costs of layoffs and business consolidation expenses. IBM also announced that the company has sold its hard drive manufacturing business to Hitachi, Ltd. for just over $2 billion. IBMis hard drive business, including certain intellectual property rights, will be transferred to a new, stand-alone company majority owned by Hitachi. After three years and a series of fixed payments to IBM, Hitachi will assume full ownership of the new company that will employ about 18,000 current IBM employees. In addition to the 18,000 IBM jobs that will be assigned to the new venture, experts estimate the total number of layoffs at IBM will total about 9,500 jobs.
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