4th Straight Nasdaq Gain, Apple Up 2.8%

The Nasdaq closed on a winning note for the 4th straight session, something that hasnit happened in the last seven months. This, despite preliminary numbers from the government that say jobless claims rose in March to the highest rate since March of 1996. Higher unemployment does not bode well for the economy, but thinking on the Street may have been leaning towards the idea that the Fed would be more inclined to be more aggressive on cutting interest rates. An even bigger impact on the markets today was interest in the idea that a bottom is near. According to a CBS Marketwatch report:

"Tech is leading us higher. Itis shrugging off bad news and thatis encouraging. People are afraid of missing the bottom," noted Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller, Tabak.

We heard that phrase "people are afraid of missing the bottom" from other sources today as well. That, in and of itself, is often a sign that the bottom is near. This particularly handy information came from the same CBS Marketwatch report.

"Historically, it has taken quite some time to turn a bear market around. The bottoming process for the S&P 500 took about three months to complete in 1974, the low in 1982 took five months, the 1990 and 1991 bottom lasted almost five months and the near bear market of 1998 took a month. Considering the severity of the recent decline, especially for the Nasdaq, the best we can hope for is that the bottoming process will end in three to five months," commented the S&P Investment Policy Committee in its daily research note

Volume for both indexes was moderately strong when the short week is taken into consideration. Both the Dow and the Nasdaq opened lower, but gained steam as the bad employment, and other somewhat negative reports began coming in. Go figure.

Interestingly, in another unusual happening, Yahoo! posted a strong 7% gain today after posting results that didnit meet expectations after yesterdayis closing bell. DoubleClick, a giant in the world of online advertising posted its own results after todayis closing bell. The company posted slightly better than expected results, no mean feat for an online advertising firm in todayis market, but warned of lower earnings for the remainder of the year. Shares for DoubleClick were trading lower in after hours trading.

All of the tech stocks we track in the Stock Watch closed higher today, with the exception of IBM. Yesterdayis "breakthrough chip technology" didnit seem to catch the eye of anyone that cared. Volume was light for Stock Watch stocks as well, except for Motorola, Intel, and Microsoft.

Appleis 1 day chart follows the Nasdaqis almost exactly: down in the morning, then a rise throughout the rest of the day with a positive close. Volume for AAPL was light for the second day in a row. The dayis range was 21.15 - 23.02.

Apple closed at 22.42, a gain of 0.62 (+2.84%), on light volume of 5,338,400 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 1961.43, up 62.48 (+3.29%), on volume of 1,908,170,000 shares trading hands.

The Dow closed at 10126.94, a gain of 113.47 (+1.13%), on volume of 1,089,639,000 shares trading hands.

The S&P 500 closed at 1183.50, up 17.61 (+1.51%).

Akamai closed at 9.06, a strong gain of 0.71 (+8.50%), on light volume of 1,186,000 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Adobe closed at 41.06, up 0.33 (+0.81%), on light volume of 4,173,100 shares trading hands.

IBM closed at 96.20, our only loser for the day with a loss of 1.23 (-1.26%), on volume of 9,390,200 shares trading hands.

Motorola closed at 13.26, a gain of 0.36 (+2.79%), on strong volume of 20,060,100 shares trading hands.

Earthlink closed at 11.77, up 0.49 (+4.34%), on light volume of 1,124,600 shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 15.95, a gain of 0.95 (+6.33%), on light volume of 1,674,600 shares trading hands.

Dell closed at 27.92, up 1.18 (+4.41%), on light volume of 32,847,100 shares trading hands.

Intel closed at 28.12, up 0.60 (+2.18%), on strong volume of 54,030,800 shares trading hands.

Microsoft closed at 62.18, up 2.14 (+3.56%), on moderately strong volume of 43,761,900 shares trading hands.

For full quotes on all the companies mentioned in this article, we have assembled this set of quotes at Yahoo! for your reference. For other stories regarding Appleis stock activity, visit our updated Apple Stock Watch Special Report. You can also check out our Apple Financial Boards, a new moderated forum for Apple Investors and people who are interested in Appleis financial dealings.