AAPL Rises on News from Apple Expo 2000

Another mixed day for the stock markets. The real fun for Apple investors took place far from Wall Street. Steve Jobs unveiled Mac OS X Beta and an updated iBook at the Apple Expo 2000 in Paris. Shares of AAPL manage a small gain in a very weak PC sector.

As expected, Steve Jobs announced the immediate availability of the OS X Public Beta in todayis keynote speech at the Apple Expo 2000. The Beta is available on CD from the Apple Store. See the full Mac Observer story.

The iBook update includes a new processor, a FireWire port, and a DVD player. Apple has also added more RAM, and offers the popular consumer portable in two new colors. See the Mac Observer story.

Apple gained 1/4 to close at 58 dollars on high volume of 5.4 million shares. It was a very tough day for PC stocks as SCI Systems (SCI) forecast lower than expected revenues due to weak demand for PC and consumer electronics. SCI builds PCs for Hewlett-Packard, Compaq and Dell.

According to C/Net News, "SCI, once the largest contract manufacturer in the world, has ceded the top spot to Solectron. But SCI is still among the top five along with Flextronics International, Jabil Circuit and Celestica, according to analysts who follow the electronics manufacturing industry. These manufacturers are getting increasingly sophisticated as they take over manufacturing, component purchasing and even some design duties for name-brand companies such as HP or Nortel Networks." The whole sector traded lower today.

The Nasdaq climbed 44 points (1.16%) after dipping 56 points earlier to close at 3894, the dayis high, on volume of 1.6 billion shares.

The Dow fell 51 points (-0.45%) to close at 11182 on volume of 1.06 billion shares. The Wall Street Journal reported, "Chase Manhattan (CMB) agreed to acquire J.P. Morgan (JPM) for $38.58 billion in stock, a deal that would bring together two institutions with rich histories that recall two of the biggest names in U.S. finance."

The S&P 500 ended higher by 2.92 points (0.20%) to close at 1484.91.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai bounced 1 5/8 to 63 5/16. Earthlink fell 9/16 to 10 13/16. Motorola gained 7/8 to 33 5/16. IBM climbed 2 1/4 to 127 1/4.

Adobe is ready to report third-quarter earnings tomorrow after the market closes. Analysts expect the company to earn $0.53 a share in the third quarter compared with $0.40 a share a year ago. Adobe climbed 3 1/8 to 125 15/16.

W.R. Hambrecht & Co. initiated coverage on Pixar Animation Studios (PIXR) with a buy rating and a price target of $50. Analyst Jeffrey B. Logsdon cited the companyis blend of technology and creativity, accelerated production schedule and contract with Disney as key reasons for the rating. Mr. Logsdon said, "Pixar is accelerating its production output to an anticipated one film per year over the next three years. We believe this should create an earnings layering and growth through 2006. Pixaris first three films have generated over one billion dollars in operating income, and we expect that significant profitability should continue over the next few releases.ii Shares of Pixar gained 7/16 to 33 11/16.

Appleis competitors: Dell lost 1 3/16 to 36 1/4. Gateway was lower by 4.36 to 58.65. Compaq gave back 1 9/16 to 29 15/16. Shares of Microsoft rose 3/16 to 68 5/16. Hewlett Packard shed 6 dollars to 105 on the SCI warning.

Banc of America downgraded Intel and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) to "market performer" from "strong buy" for the second major downgrade in the semiconductor sector since last week when USB Piper Jaffray lowered its rating on Intel. Intel fell 3 11/16 to 61 1/4. AMD lost 2 1/16 to 28 7/16.

The Federal Communications Commission could force America Online (AOL) to open its instant-messaging service to rivals as a condition of approving its merger with Time Warner (TWX), the Wall Street Journal reported. The FCC is also urging Time Warner to open its high-speed cable lines to rivals. AOL was higher by 1/8 to 56 1/8.

In economic news: Look for Augustis Producer Price Index on Thursday and the Consumer Price Index on Friday, along with industrial production and capacity utilization data. Friday is also a triple witching day when options, index options and futures contracts all expire together possibly instigating volatility for the rest of the week.

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 Apple Stock Watch Special Report.