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November 29th 1999

[4:15 PM] Apple Stock Watch: Apple Brushes Against 100 Mark, Falls Late In Day
by Wes George

Investors took profits in their recent big gainers, such as telecoms and Internet stocks, while buying retailers and computer hardware stocks. The fundamental shift in asset allocation from the blue chip industrials to the stocks of the "new economy" continued unabated in spite of the weak bond market.

The Dow declined 40.99 points (0.37%) to close at 10947.92 on a volume of 837 million shares traded. The big financial stocks like American Express and General Electric accounted for much of the decline. The market internals continued their disappointing trends today, as only 900 stocks advanced to more than 2000 declining on the NYSE.

The Nasdaq lost 26.44 points (0.77%) to end the session at 3421.37 with over 1.5 billion shares traded. Electronic gadget retailers were up while specialty apparel vendors had gained almost 5.9% by mid day. Investors were buying stocks that stand to benefit from what is shaping up to be an unusually strong Christmas shopping season. The retail index (RLX) was up nearly 2.0% for the day.

The S&P 500 lost 8.79 (0.62%) to close at 1407.83. The Philadelphia Utility Index (UTY) was down today. 75% of the utilities on the index are now at 52-week lows. Interest rate sensitive stocks such as home builders suffered too.

30-year Treasury bonds were down 29/32 to close at 97 18/32, the yield rose to 6.30%. Last week it was the strong surge in crude oil prices that slammed the bond market. This week traders are fretting over the implications that strong Christmas sales have for inflation, and ultimately interest rates.

The Euro hit an all time low against the Dollar and the Yen, the Euro is down almost 10% since its high against the Dollar earlier this year. The Dollar rose slightly against the Yen today.

Mutual fund net inflows increased from $10.8 billion in September to $20.4 billion in October. November is predicted to break the all time record cash inflows of $28 billion set back in January of 1997.

Total web traffic over for the Thanksgiving holiday (Wednesday through Sunday) was 18% over last year. E-shopping seems to be what much of that increase traffic is about. Toy e-tailers saw an 83% increase in traffic this Thanksgiving over last year's numbers. Electronic goods e-tailers saw a 64% increase, while apparel online shopping has jump 58% from last year. According to CNBC, 18 million households are shopping online this Christmas season.

Interestingly, auction web sites saw their Thanksgiving weekend traffic increase only 1%, while software sites endured a fractional decline in traffic.

Apple soared intraday to 99 3/4 by 1:00 pm EST, and then gave it all back to close down by 1/2 point (0.53%) to end at 94 9/16. Volume was normal and there was no news out today to explain the new all time intraday high or volatility. Unfortunately, today's chart action will be interpreted as setting the upside ceiling for AAPL by many technical traders, at least in the short term.

Today was a mixed bag for Apple related stocks. Akamai jumped 20 7/8 points to 227 3/8. Arm Holdings advanced 15 5/8 to close at 144 1/4. While Adobe lost 2 1/4 to end at 71 9/16.

Corel (CORL) soared 6 11/16 to close at 20 13/16 on rumors that it may be a take over target of Red Hat Inc. because of their interest in Linux. Be OS Inc. (BEOS) was also flying high, up 3 5/16 to close at 15 3/16.

Toy Story 2's first 5-day total take at the box office was 80.8 million. That's a new Thanksgiving week record for box office receipts, beating last year's record of 46 million set by a Bug's Life, also a Pixar animated film. Ironically, Pixar was down 2 1/2 to close at 44 1/8, largely because of the fact that Toy Story 2 is the last income Pixar can expect till its next film which isn't due out till 2001. An analyst said today that she expect Toy Story 2 to gross about 800 million total at the box office.

Apple's Power PC partners, Motorola and IBM diverged today. IBM declined 3/4 to close at 104 1/4, while Motorola gained 1 11/32 to end at 120 3/8.

All the PC vendors ended higher. Compaq gained 9/16 to close at 25 3/16. Dell was strong too, up 13/16 to close at 43 3/4. Both Microsoft and Intel ended the session in the red.

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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