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May 16th, 2000

[4:00 PM] Apple Stock Watch: Apple Bounces Back
by Wes George

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised the Fed Fund rate target to 6.50%, a nine year high, by hiking short-term interest rates a half point. Wall Street anticipated as much with a strong rally, but some market technicians are uneasy about the low volume. Apple's stock soared with the rally and on developer enthusiasm at the WWDC.

Now we are free to begin speculating on the outcome of the next FOMC meeting June 25. The consensus forecast is for more rate hikes in the pipeline, perhaps another 50 basis points. However, most pundits believe the hikes will come in quarter point chunks spaced out over the summer.

In a statement accompanying today's aggressive rate hike the Fed said, "Increases in demand have remained in excess of even the rapid pace of productivity-driven gains in potential supply, exerting continued pressure on resources. The committee is concerned that this disparity in the growth of demand and potential supply will continue, which could foster inflationary imbalances that would undermine the economy's outstanding performance."

Apple came back 4 11/16 or 4.64% to close at 105 11/16 on volume of 3.8 million shares. The spirits at WWDC are high. Developer interest in OS X from all reports appears to be very strong.

The Nasdaq climbed 109 points (3.05%) to closed at 3717 on volume of 1.49 billion shares.

The Dow climbed 126 points (1.17%) to close at 10934 on volume of 951 million shares. The financial stocks held up well in the face of the interest rate hike, although there was a short-lived sell-off just after the Fed's rate hike was announced.

The S&P 500 gained 13.68 points (0.94%) to close at 1466.

The Mac Observer Stock Watch Virtual Portfolio bounced back with the tech stock rally.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai gained 4 11/16 to close at 76 1.16. ARM Holdings gained 1 3/8 to close at 31 1/16. Adobe traded higher by 13 7/8 to close at 123 7/8. Earthlink climbed 1 5/16 to close at 22 dollars. Motorola climbed 1 15/16 to close at 98 3/16 dollars. IBM jumped 4 13/16 to 109.

Apple's competitors: Intel rose 3 3/4 to close at 121 7/8. Gateway lost 1/2 to close at 52 1/2.

Hewlett Packard announced second quarter earnings per share of $0.87 versus estimates of $0.82, while revenues grew by 15% to $12 billion from $10.5 billion a year ago.

A Hewlett Packard press release states, "Net revenue in the United States was $5.3 billion, an increase of 17 percent compared with the year-ago quarter. Revenue from outside the United States, which was 56 percent of the company's total this quarter, rose 14 percent to $6.7 billion. In Europe, revenue was $4.2 billion, an increase of 5 percent. In Asia Pacific, revenue increased 37 percent to $1.7 billion. In Latin America, revenue increased 30 percent to $0.5 billion." HWP soared 6 bucks to close at 140.

Compaq climbed 1 3/16 to close at 28 9/16 after the company announced a new line of servers that it hopes will challenge Sun Microsystems' dominance of the market.

C-NET news reported that, "Dell will begin to sell workstations optimized for the online investor, part of an industry-wide effort to broaden the variety of home computers. The Round Rock, Texas-based PC manufacturer today said it will begin to sell its Precision Workstation 220 to home consumers bundled with professional-grade investment software and data feeds from Equis, NeoVest and Data Broadcasting, among others, depending on the customer order." Dell fell 11/16 to close at 49 7/8.

The consumer price index (CPI) remained unchanged in April while the core CPI, excluding energy and food prices continued its upward trajectory but by only half as much as in March. The mild to flat inflation indicated was due to the first decline in fuel costs since last year.

Wall Street Journal reported, "Despite signs of economic strength and an increase in manufacturer prices, consumers generally have been spared from inflation. The CPI grew 3% in April from a year earlier, an easing in price pressures from March, when the CPI was up 3.7% year-over-year. The core rate advanced 2.2% in April from a year earlier, compared with a 2.4% advance in March."

Meanwhile, housing starts bounced off a low in March, rising 2.8% in April in spite of higher mortgage rates.

The bellwether 30-year US Treasury bond climbed 16/32 to 101 26/32. The yield, which moves inversely to the price, dropped to 6.12%.

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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