Markets Rest After Halloween Rally But Apple’s Stock Moves Higher

The Halloween rally couldnit find the strength to follow through. Investors continue to be spooked by the high multiples among technology stocks. AAPLis P/E ratio is already so hammered down that the price-per-share rose for the third consecutive session in defiance of a down market.

According to new research from the Gartner Group, PC sales in Europe continue to lag behind the US and Asia. PC sales totaled 8.1 million for the Continent, thatis about 10% higher than last year and corporate PC sales were up 6.1%. However, the average rate of PC sales growth is historically closer to 15%. The weak Euro and high fuel prices seem to be the culprits.

Upside.com reported: "Broken down by company, Compaqis European sales grew 2.6 percent; Dellis increased 2 percent. In contrast, IBM and Hewlett-Packard are seeing double-digit growth: Unit sales grew by 21.9 percent and 32.1 percent respectively."

Appleis stock climbed against the trend by 15/16, or 4.79%, to close at 20 1/2 on high volume of 10 million shares. It looks like AAPL has a robust mini-rally off last weekis dismal lows in progress.

Patrick Seitz with Investoris Business Daily summarized Appleis current business situation: "Apple overestimated the demand for its products last quarter – including its iMac desktop computers, laptops and high-end Power Mac G4 computers – and simply built too many."

The Nasdaq shed 36 points (-1.07%) to close at 3333 on volume of 2 billion shares.

The Dow fell 71 points (-0.65%) to close at 10899 on volume of 1.2 billion shares. This is only the second down day in ten for the Dow, so the feeling on the floor of the NYSE is that the market deserves a rest.

The S&P 500 lost 8.18 points (-0.57%) to close at 1421.22.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai lost 11/16 to 50 5/16. Adobe rallied 1 3/16 to 77 1/4.

Earthlink fell 7/32 to 6 5/16 after its net loss widened in the 3rd quarter to $72.5 million or -$0.65 per share due in part to the acquisition of OneMain.com Inc.

IBM dropped plans to use Transmetais Crusoe chips in some of its ThinkPads and will instead stay with Intelis Pentium line of processors. "What really hurts is that IBM is the company that manufactures the Crusoe for Transmeta, " chides Forbes.com. "So a vote of no confidence from Big Blue is like getting stabbed in the back by your partner."

Meanwhile, IBM announced a collaboration with Palm Inc. (PALM) providing mobile e-business solutions. Shares of IBM rose 1/16 to 98 9/16.

Dellis vice chairman Kevin Rollins is concerned corporate PC sales in Europe are going to come in weak when Dell reports earnings next Thursday. However, according to CBSMarketWatch, "As for global expansion, Rollins said the company believes foreign markets have the potential to add $20 billion in revenue over the next three years." Dell gained 15/16 to 30 7/16.

Shares of Microsoft gained 3/4 to 69 5/8. Redmondis story about just how and what the hackers did when they broke into Microsoftis databases arenit adding up. A company spokesman said, "We donit believe customers are going to be affected in any way."

Intel lost 1/8 x to 44 7/8. Hewlett Packard declined 2 1/16 to 44 7/16 (the stock split recently). Gateway lost 0.66 to 50.95.

In economic news: The Federal Reserve said its latest survey of economic conditions show a slowing of business activity in 5 of the 12 US regions. Of the other 7 regions, 5 reported moderate growth and 2 regions, San Francisco and New York, are still experiencing strong growth. Labor market remain tight and show some sign of wage-pressure inflation

The Wall Street Journal reported, "The Fed said the outlook for retail sales in the month ahead "has become increasingly conservative since the last report." Merchants in Dallas reduced their six-month outlook and Chicago area retailers expect higher home heating costs this winter to drain shoppersi wallets of spending money."

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.

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