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March 6th, 2000

[4:00 PM] Apple Stock Watch: Down Day on Wall Street, Apple Gives Some Back
by Wes George

A narrow high tech stock rally moved the Nasdaq closer to the 5000 mark after Friday's big surge, but couldn't hold the gains. Apple climbed early in the day, only to settle lower by the session's end as profit takers moved in.

The tech stocks that did the best were momentum plays, helped higher by the hype coming out of a number of technology conferences being held this week, including Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's semiconductor conference and Paine Webber's Internet conference.

Alan Greenspan gave a speech at Boston College at yet another conference on the "New Economy". His speech was essentially an encapsulated version of his testimony before Congress in February. He praised the innovations from the high tech sectors, but according the Wall Street Journal, "Greenspan's speech was likely to strengthen the belief of many economists that the Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates until it sees greater evidence that the economy is slowing enough to keep inflation under control".

Apple lost 2 1/2 dollars or 1.95% to close at 125 1/2 on weakest volume in weeks, at 1.88 million shares traded.

The Dow lost 199 points (-1.93%) to close at 10167, on volume of over a billion shares traded. Oil inventories continue to fall and crude oil prices settled above $32 per barrel as a number of analysts warned that fuel prices at the pump could exceed $2.00 a gallon this summer. Transportation and utility stocks took big hits today.

The Nasdaq lost 10 points (-0.20%), after climbing to 4980 intraday, to close at 4904, with 2 billion shares traded hands. The Nasdaq gained 7.0% last week, today's decline is largely attributed to profit taking.

Fiber optics stocks soared the highest, but biotech, Internet and semiconductor stocks were strong. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) hit a new high and so did the Biotech Index (BTK).

The S&P 500 lost 18 points (1.27%) to close at 1391.

In Apple related businesses, Akamai lost 14 3/8 to close at 254 dollars, while ARM Holdings lost 8 13/16 to close at 234 3/16. IBM fell 5 dollars to close at 103. Earthlink lost a buck to close at 23 15/16. Adobe lost 4 7/8 to close at 85 3/4.

Motorola advanced 5 1/16 to close at 1180 3/8, after Wit SoundView reiterated their "strong buy" recommendation on the wireless device manufacturer and raised their price target to 215 dollars from 175.

Apple's competitors: Dell gained 1/2 to end at 46 3/4. Gateway lost 4 1/8 to close at 65 1/2. Compaq was up a fraction at 27 15/16. Microsoft lost 5 1/2 to close at 90 5/8. Intel lost 1 7/8 to close at 117 3/8.

Advance Micro Devices began shipping 1 gigahertz Athlon processors today and announced that Compaq and Gateway will be the first PC vendors to place the new chips in desktop systems. However, these new 1GHz PCs will cost more than $4,000 apiece until the Athlon chip supply expands. AMD gained 6 1/16 to close at 47 9/16.

Reuters' reported, "Shares of Agilent Technologies Inc. (A), a test and measurement equipment maker, surged on Monday after announcing a new telecommunications switching technology that speeds up fiber-optic networks." Agilent gained 43 11/16 to close at 151 11/16.

Hewlett Packard spun off Agilent recently and still owns a major stake in the company. Hewlett Packard gained 6 15/16 to close at 145 9/16.

Economic news to watch for: Tomorrow morning the Labor Department will release the productivity numbers for the fourth quarter which could be stronger than expected and help the Nasdaq to extend the on going rally further. On Wednesday, Alan Greenspan speaks again before a group of Bankers in San Antonio. Friday, Deputy Treasury Secretary, Stuart Eizenstat might reveal the government's position on taxing the Internet when he speaks on the topic at the Legg Mason conference.

The bellwether 30-year US Treasury bond traded up 1/32 to 101 10/32. The yield, which moves inversely to the price, fell to 6.13%.

For full quotes on all the companies mentioned in this article, we have assembled this set of quotes at Yahoo! for your reference. We also have many of these same quotes reported live (20 minute delay) on our home page. For other stories regarding Apple's stock activity, visit our Apple Stock Watch Special Report.


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