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March 10th, 2000

[4:00 PM] Apple Stock Watch: Apple Surges Ahead
by Wes George

Tech stocks traded higher most of the day, but gave back some gains by late afternoon, while the Dow continued in its funk. Apple gained ground and held it.

Apple climbed 3 1/2 dollars or 2.86% to close at 125 3/4 with 2.2 million shares traded. The mainstream press noted today that Apple dominates the US education market with 30.6% of the market share, more than twice the closest rival's share. See yesterday's Mac Observer article.

The Nasdaq gained 2 points to close at 5048 with over 2 billion shares trading hands. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index (SOX) is up 110% in the last three months, while the Biotech Index (BTK) is up more than 135%.

The Dow lost 81 points (0.82%), to close at 9928 on volume of 1.1 billion. Brokerage stocks soared higher on rumors that the industry is ripe for consolidation and because the steadily increasing volume on the exchanges implies strong growth for the brokerage houses.

The S&P 500 slipped 6.62 (0.47%) to close at 1395.07.

In Apple related businesses: Adobe climbed 5 1/8 to close at 83 1/4. Akamai gained 10 dollars to close at 296. ARM Holdings lost 6 to close at 231 dollars. Earthlink gained 3/4 to close at 23 3/4. Macromedia gained 3/8 to 89 7/8 .

IBM lost 2 3/4 to close at 105 1/4, but could do well next week since a IDC report released after hours shows IBM high-end servers outselling Sun systems. IBM also said that its ThinkPad laptop are going wireless.

Salomon Smith Barney reiterated its "buy" recommendation on Motorola and kept its 12-month price target of $200 a share. Analyst Alex Cena said, "The semiconductor business remains on target and should experience sequential growth in revenues and profit margins during the quarter." Motorola gained 8 1/4 to close at 172 1/4.

Apple's competitors: Compaq gained 9/16 to close at 28 9/16. Dell gained 13/16 to 51 1/4 on an upgrade from Paine Webber for a new 52-week high. Hewlett Packard lost 7/8 to close at 150 7/8. Shares of Microsoft gained a buck to close at 101. Gateway lost 2 1/2 to 62 1/2. Shares of Intel climbed 1 13/16 to close at 120 3/16, a new high.

In other news: While OPEC is likely to increase oil production soon, crude oil contracts for April delivery reached 31 dollars a barrel indicating that fuel prices may stay high into the summer. Higher fuel costs could slow the economy as much as the Federal Reserve's barrage of interest rate hikes.

From the Wall Street Journal: "An energy-related slowdown "is not going to happen overnight," said Ken Goldstein, an economist with the New York-based Conference Board, who expects gross-domestic-product growth for 2001 to slow to 3% to 3.5% from about 4% in recent years due to higher interest rates and energy costs. The overall effect is relatively small because energy costs have fallen in relevance in recent years, and the price is still below high levels in previous decades after inflation adjustment."

The bellwether 30-year US Treasury bond traded down 7/32 to 101 3/32. The yield, which moves inversely to the price, rose to 6.17% from 6.16% yesterday.

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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