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April 12th, 2000

[4:00 PM] Apple Stock Watch: Nasdaq Sell-Off Gets Scary, AAPL Down Another 8.53%
by Wes George

Another bad day for the tech stocks, the decline was orderly but relentlessly steady. The Nasdaq's technical ugliness even ruined the rally on the Dow by the last hour of trading. The media may try to pin the sell-off on Microsoft's downgrade by Goldman Sachs analyst Rick Sherlund, but the damage was due more to an emergent trend--the fundamental re-analysis of value by investors, who increasingly are harvesting their profits from 1999.

The bad news yesterday was Motorola bumbling their profit margins on cell phones. Today, Goldman Sachs lowered their revenue forecasts for Microsoft's third quarter to $5.75 billion from $5.95 billion, citing weaker corporate PC sales. The Nasdaq is so weak that any bad news hurts.

This is a treacherous market. Will the Tech stocks bottom here or will they break through support and revisit levels not seen in months. If so we could be entering a bear market in technology stocks. The fear is palpable, but the opportunities for gains are here too. None of the fundamental views of the booming US or world economy has changed, however investor psychology seems to be evolving always from technology.

Apple wilted 10 3/4 or 8.53%, to close at 109 1/4 on more than double normal volume of 8.4 million shares. Apple is now -28.0% from its year high.

Banc of America Securities analyst Kurt King upgraded Apple to 'strong buy' from 'buy' late in the trading session. "Positive industry trends should come to light in upcoming earnings announcements." said the Reuters research alert.

The Mac Observer Stock Watch Virtual Portfolio braved today's downdraft to pick up 50 shares of Apple at $110 per share and 50 shares of Akamai at $96. Our portfolio only a few days old is already down 3.8%, however we still have a large cash position.

The Nasdaq got hammered down -286 points (-7.06%), for the second biggest point decline ever, to close at the day's low of 3769 on volume of 1.9 billion shares traded. The Nasdaq, down about 7.0%, closed below 3800 since early January.

The Dow was held back by a few tech stock (MFST, IBM, HWP, T, LU), down -161 points (-1.43%) to close at 11125 on volume of 1.1 million shares.

The S&P 500 fell -33.40 points (-2.23%) to close at 1467.19.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai lost 15 dollars to close at 92 3/4. ARM Holdings lost 10 dollars to close at 150. Adobe fell 7 7/16 to close at 112 1/16. Earthlink slipped 1/4 to close at 14 7/8. Macromedia lost 5 19/32 to 61 dollars. Motorola fell another 8 dollars to close at 116. IBM nose dived 6 5/8 to 112 3/4 dollars.

Apple's competitors: Hewlett Packard sagged 11 5/16 to close at 134 1/2. Intel lost 8 7/8 to close at 121 7/8. Gateway lost 2 9/32 to close at 55 1/4. Compaq lost 26 3/16 to close at 26 3/16. Shares of Microsoft fell 4 1/2 to 79 3/8.

This afternoon Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is expected to announce earnings of $0.57 per share over a year ago -$0.81 per share with record sales of over $1 billion. The company lost 7 1/8 to close 63 1/2 today.

In Economic News: Stayed tuned for March's Producer Prices and Retail Sales numbers tomorrow morning. Then on Friday the all important Consumer Price Index and Industrial Production Numbers for March are announced.

The bellwether 30-year US Treasury bond dropped 26/32 to 105 30/32. The yield, which moves inversely to the price, rose to 5.82% above Tuesday's 5.70%.

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, as well as The Mac Observer Virtual Stock Watch portfolio.


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