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May 31st, 2000

[4:00 PM] Apple Stock Watch: AAPL Closes At Its Lowest Point For 2000
by Wes George

Yesterday's stunning rally failed to follow through today indicating that it was yet another bear rally driven by the fear of short traders rather than returning bulls. In fact, where are the bulls? In trading ranges reminiscent of the 1980s, neither the Dow or the Nasdaq could define a trend -- at least till the last 15 minutes of the session when the Nasdaq sold-off. Apple extended yesterday's rally to $90 3/4 then got whacked back late in the day to closed about 6 bucks off the day's high.

Sales of new homes dived 5.8% in April giving investors some hope that a slowing economy will keep the Feds from raising rates so aggressively for the remainder of the year. Fat chance.

According to the Wall Street Journal, "The 5.8% drop in new-home sales came on the heels of a revised 5.8% jump in March sales, which had pushed the pace to 965,000 homes, the second-highest level in history. In November 1998 sales hit an all-time high rate of 995,000 units."

The unemployment data, to be released on Friday, will define the stock markets till June 28th when the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets to decide whether or not to raise interest rates for a seventh time in twelve months. Most observers believe the Fed will raise Fed Fund rates by 25 basis points, although a minority think a half point hike is probable. No one but Joe Battipaglia of Gruntal & Co. believes that the Federal Reserve is finished raising interest rates for the year.

Apple melted 3 9/16 or -4.07% to close at 84 dollars on volume of 3.8 million shares. $84 per share is the lowest closing price for AAPL since last November Next support level isn't till the $77 range.

The Nasdaq dipped 58 points (-1.69%) to closed at 3400 on volume of 1.5 billion shares. Only a few semiconductor stocks were higher today.

The Dow fell 4.80 points to close at 10522 on volume of 955 million shares. Oil service stocks were strong.

The S&P 500 dropped 1.81 points to close at 1420.

The Mac Observer Stock Watch Virtual Portfolio: Lucent (LU) bought Chromatis, an optical-networking company, for $4.54 billion in stock.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai gave back 7 7/16 of yesterday's 15 dollar gain to close at 67 9/16. ARM Holdings lost 11/16 to close at 25 7/8. Adobe traded down 4 dollars to close at 112 9/16. Earthlink fell 1 5/16 to close at 14 13/16 dollars. IBM lost 3 9/16 to 107 3/8.

Motorola dumped 2 3/16 to close at 94 1/16. The semiconductor manufacturer announced it will outsource over $30 billion of consumer-electronics production with Flextronic International Ltd. of Singapore over a five year period, that's twice Flextronic's total revenue in 1999.

Apple's competitors: Hewlett Packard lost 4 3/8 to close at 120 1/8. Gateway dipped 3 1/8 to close at 49 1/2. Compaq fell 1/4 to close at 26 3/8. Shares of Microsoft dropped 13/16 to 62 9/16. Intel lost 1 1/16 to close at 124 11/16.

The bellwether 30-year US Treasury bond rose 31/32 to 103 4/32. The yield, which moves inversely to the price, fell to 6.01%.

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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