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November 23rd 1999

[4:30 PM] Apple Stock Watch: The Markets Retreat and Whaddaya Know Apple Soars
by Wes George

Finally, a nice quiet day of profit taking after weeks of record breaking action. On Wall Street they're saying this is a good thing. Apple soared above the down draft because of yesterday's announcement that the iBook is the single best selling notebook computer in the market place.

The Dow sagged 93 points (0.85%) to close at 10995.6. 894 million shares traded. Market breath has been shallow for several days now, perhaps due to early tax related selling. Reports of weak retail sales, because of warmer weather keeping consumers away from stores, made for tough going in the broader market today.

The Nasdaq lost 49.69 points (01.46%) to end the session at 3342.87 with 1.44 billion shares traded. The surprisingly heavy volume for a holiday week makes this the 10th biggest volume day on the Nasdaq. Hardware, chip, telecom, financials and Internet stocks all took hits today.

The S&P 500 lost 16.30 (1.15%) to close at 1404.64.

30-year Treasury bonds were down 2/32 to close at 99, the yield was flat at 6.19% in what was described as a very dull day.

Recently, there have been hints of good things to come from Apple, such as the sighting of Macs at Comdex, and the fact that the iMac was named "design of the decade" by Business Week. But cautious investors paused while waiting for the iBook to captured the imagination of consumers before piling more AAPL on their plates.

Now the trend is official, like the iMac last November, the shockingly advanced design of the iBook is taking the market by storm.

Apple ended the session up 2 3/16 (2.41%) to close at 92 13/16. Apple was as high as 95 1/4 at one point in the day. Volume has returned to a more normal 4.85 million shares traded, up from several weeks of below average volume.

Today was a good day for Apple related stocks, in spite of the weak market. Akamai, Arm Holdings, and Macromedia were all in the green. Symantec was higher all day but closed flat. Adobe lost 1 5/16 to close at 74 3/4.

Akamai was up 25 1/8 points to close at 210 after two big brokerage firms initiated coverage. Morgan Stanley started Akamai with an outperform rating and a price target of $225. Solomon Smith Barney also initiated coverage with an outperform today.

Apple's Power PC partners didn't fair so well, Motorola gave back 3 15/16 to close at 166 13/16. IBM, after a two day advance of about $10 a share, lost 1 3/4 to close at 106 1/8.

Apple's competitors ended mostly lower, only Hewlett Packard beat the trend. Gateway saw some heavy profit taking down 2 1/16 to 77 7/16. So did Compaq down 1 1/16 to end at 24 7/8. Microsoft, Intel, and Dell were down.

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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