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November 19th 1999

[4:00 PM] The Apple Stock Watch: Apple Finds Support Level Heads Back Up
by Wes George

The stock market ended its very impressive performance this week with an attempt at profit taking, but the technology bulls would have none of it. Interestingly, some of the tech stocks that have taken a beating recently, like Xerox, IBM, Compaq, and Unisys were back on investors' buy menu as stock bargains become more difficult to find.

Today was a double witching Friday, expiration day for quarterly stock and index options, and this accounted for the early session volatility as investors squared their portfolios. Next week is a shortened week. The markets are closed Thursday, and open for half days on Wednesday and Friday. November 24th (next Wednesday) the gross domestic product numbers are released.

The Dow sagged 31.8 points (0.29%) to close at 11003.89. Volume was strong with 880 million shares traded. The Dow, up about 2.0% for the week, now stands only 3.0% down from a new all time high.

The Transportation average continued to diverge strongly from the Industrials as airlines responded with a sell off to the recent leap in crude oil prices, which are the highest they have been since 1991. Analysts are quick to point out that higher oil prices are the result of OPEC's fidelity to its self-imposed quotas and not a sign of an inflationary trend. Other commodity prices show few signs of inflation.

The Nasdaq moved forward 22.14 points (0.66%) to end the session at 3369 with 1.4 billion shares traded, making today the 9th heaviest volume day ever. The Nasdaq was up about 140 points this week, and 13% this month, that brings us to a 53% gain year over year. Nine of the ten heaviest trading days ever have occurred in the last five weeks. Not surprisingly, bullish sentiment has soared recently, a contrary indication of a short term market top.

The S&P 500 lost 2.94 (0.21%) to close at 1422.

30-year Treasury bonds were down 6/32 to close at 99 14/32, the yield was flat at 6.16%.

Apple made a healthy bounce off the support level in the 89 range which it touched yesterday, gaining 2 13/16 (3.14%) to close at 92 7/16 on weak volume. This morning there was a bullish article about Macs at Comdex from Macweek, and the iMac was named "design of the decade" by Business Week. "Good product design in and of itself can have a strong business impact. But good design that is integrated with packaging, advertising, and marketing has the greatest effect on the bottom line."

IBM was the comeback king today rising 6 1/2 to close at 104 1/2, after languishing in the low 90s for the last month.

In Apple related stocks, Adobe, Akamai, Arm Holdings, Macromedia, and Symantec saw profit taking after this week's big advances. Motorola gained 1 5/16 to close at 125 1/8.

Apple's competitors ended mostly higher. Hewlett Packard gave back 15/16 to close at 93 3/8 after Wednesday's 13 point gain. Compaq was up 1 3/16 to close at 26 1/4. Intel rose 1 3/8 to end at 79 7/8. Gateway, Dell and Microsoft were also in the green.

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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