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December 16th 1999

[4:10 PM] Apple Stock Watch: Apple Starts An Uptrend, Nasdaq Follows
by Wes George

It's all about technology. No one wants to end the year with out piece of the high tech pie. The Nasdaq set its 53 high for the year led by, you guessed it, the Internet stocks. Apple wasn't left behind.

Apple settled up 1 5/16 points or 1.35% to 98 5/16 on below average volume after being down as much as 3 dollars intraday. In fact, on a 5 day chart it appears that Apple may have started a new uptrend as of yesterday.

From a technical analyst's point of view, Apple bounced off support yesterday at 91 and made a rough equivalent to a Japanese candlestick charting formation known as a "hammer", which is indicative of a short term bottom.

The Dow climbed 19 points (0.17%) to close at 11244. Today was the first time in history the Dow has ever seen 3 consecutive days of billion share trading volume. Tomorrow is triple witching Friday.

After a couple of strong days, the cyclicals, such as aluminum, drug store and household item stocks sold off. The blue chip financial stocks continued their decline, beaten down by the weak bond market.

Ed Yardeni of Deutsche Bank Securities noted on CNBC today that 70% of the stocks on the NYSE are down from a year ago.

The Nasdaq gained 93.10 points (2.57%) to close at 3715.05 on 1.4 billion shares traded. That's 200 million less shares traded than yesterday which could indicate that the tech rally is loosing some steam.

Today was the 53 record Nasdaq high for the year placing the Nasdaq composite at just under a 70% gain for the year.

The S&P 500 advanced 5.46 points (0.39%) to close at 1418.78.

The bellwether 30-year Treasury bond was down 27/32 to close at 96 13/32, while the yield climbed to 6.39% from 6.33% on Wednesday. Wide spread commodity inflation fears and technical considerations as the yield curves broke through support sparked further selling by bond traders.

Commerce Department's numbers for the US international trade gap widened in October lifted by higher crude-oil prices and consumer product imports, especially computers and computer accessories. The trade deficit swelled 7.4% over September's deficit to $25.94 billion.

The Wall Street Journal interpreted these latest numbers as "additional evidence that consumer spending at home is more than offsetting a gradual recovery in demand overseas for American goods. Despite Asia's steady recovery from last year's financial crisis, the US trade gap with key countries in the region continued to expand."

In a separate report, unemployment insurance claims sank to new lows not seen in over a quarter of a century. According to the Labor Department jobless claims dropped by 29,000 to a 266,000 for the week as stores hire holiday shopping season staffers. A year ago at this time jobless claims declined by 28,000 to 300,000.

In Apple related businesses, Adobe is announcing forth quarter earnings this afternoon, and in compliance with the SEC's recent plead for corporations to share investor information in a more egalitarian fashion, Adobe is holding their 4th quarter analyst conference call live in a QuickTime webcast open to the public 2 pm (PST) today. Adobe gained 1 7/8 to end at 63 3/4.

Macromedia bounced off recent weakness by 2 1/8 to close 81, while Symantec gave back 2 7/16 to end at 55 5/16.

Akamai, in that strong Internet sector, soared 40 5/8 to close at 271 on the news that they plan to get into the much hyped emergent market of delivering online applications.

Apple's Power PC partners, IBM and Motorola, went their separate ways. IBM gained 2 1/8 to close at 109 1/8. Motorola sagged a fraction after yesterday's 10 13/16 point gain to close at 129 13/16.

Cisco(CSCO) and Texas Instruments (TXN) struck a deal to jointly develop chip sets for the delivery of multimedia broadband services via cable networks.

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter said that revenues could double in the semiconductor related stocks over the next few years and that the Y2K inventory build up fears in this sector are overblown. The chip equipment and semiconductor stocks soared off their recent lows led by Intel.

Oracle was down 13/16 to end at 89 9/16 after yesterday's 13 point gain due to a positive earnings statement and a couple of stock upgrades.

Apple's competitors were up across the board, Dell jumped 1 3/4 to close at 44 15/16. Gateway was up 1 5/16 to close at 72 and Hewlett Packard popped 5 5/8 to close at 106 3/4.

Intel climbed 1 5/16 to 80 1/4 after announcing plans to demonstrate a 1 GHz (1,000 MHz) Pentium III chip in February.

A ZDNet news article reported that Compaq plans to unveil an iMac-like computer at next month's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Compaq surged 11/16 to 25 11/16.

Microsoft ended the day up 5 1/4 to close at a new 52 week high of 113 11/16. Microsoft's market capitalization is now $575 billion.

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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