AAPL Stands Still In Advance Of Tomorrow's Earnings

Macromedia annoucned a merger with Allaire, the maker of back-end giant ColdFusion. This annoucnement was good for Macromediais stock, but the rest of the tech sector was awash in a sea of red. Fortunately, the sea is a shallow one and the Nasdaq held on to a loss of less than 8 points. Appleis stock went nowhere fast as investors look towards tomorrowis earnings announcement from the company. The stock traded slightly lower on low volume.

Analysts think that Apple is still in a pile of deep brown stuff and that despite Appleis new product announcements from last weekis MACWORLD show, the short term outlook is still negative. According to a C-Net article:

"Despite some interesting announcements and a solid display of exciting technology, we donit walk away with the sense that the near-to-medium-term prospects for the company are any brighter than previously thought," Merrill Lynch analyst Steven Fortuna said in a research note.

In particular, analysts have praised Appleis new iTunes and iDVD software. But they have questioned whether the software will provide much of a boost to sales. None of Appleis consumer models have a rewritable CD drive, although many industry watchers believe Apple will add such a drive to the iMac, perhaps as soon as the company can sell its existing inventory.

The 1st quarter is indeed likely to be none-too-pretty, but we think that the analysts in this case underestimate the attractiveness of the new PowerMac G4 and the Titanium PowerBook to Mac users. There is a lot of pent up demand out there for faster machines, and the new products will appeal to that demand. In addition, the analysts seem oblivious to the fact that Apple will most assuredly be releasing new iMac models that include their precious CD-RW drives at next monthis MACWORLD Tokyo. There are only so many products that can be turned over at one time, and the PowerMac G4 and PowerBook lines had to come first. It is our opinion that Appleis 2nd quarter will benefit accordingly.

The Mac Observer will be covering the companyis announcement tomorrow which begins at 2:00 PM PST (4:00PM CST), after the markets close.

Apple traded on light volume and traded slightly lower to close at 17 1/8, down 1/16 (-0.36%) on volume of 5,443,300 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq had a lot of stocks close lower, but the cumulative effect left for only a slight loss for the index. The Nasdaq closed at 2618.55, down 7.95 (-0.30%).

The Dow jumped to close at 10652.66, a gain of 127.28 (+1.21%).

The S&P 500 joined the Dow in the plus colum to close at 1326.80, a gain of 8.48 (+0.64%).

Akamai benefitted from a PR stunt from Epoch Partners who issued a PR saying they expected Akamai to have a "decent" quarter. Off we go to Higher Stock Land as Akamai posted a very strong gain. The stock closed at 31 11/16, a gain of 4 1/4 (+15.49%) on average volume of 3,420,000 shares trading hands.

Adobe was among the few stocks we track to close higher. Adobe closed at 50 7/8, a gain of 7/16 (+0.87% ), on volume of 3,215,900 shares trading hands.

IBM will be releasing its own earnings tomorrow after the markets close. IBM is expected to meet expectations. The stock closed at 92 3/4, a loss of 1 1/16 (-1.13%) on volume of 5,666,800 shares trading hands.

Motorola has been suffering from a loss of market share in the ever lucrative cell/PCS phone market. The companyis stock closed lower today at 21 1/4, a loss of 7/8 (-3.95% ) on volume of 9,136,900 shares trading hands.

Earthlink will be announcing their earngins on January 30th, and today announced improvements to their DSL services. The stock closed lower today at 7 5/8, down 5/16 (-3.94%) on volume of 1,590,700 shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 20.16, down 0.94 (-4.45%) on volume of 1,767,600 shares trading hands.

Dell announced a new plant in Malaysia today to better handel the business Apple isnit getting in India and China. The stock closed lower at 21 1/2, lower by 5/8 (-2.82%) on light volume of 25,818,500 shares trading hands.

Hewlett Packard closed lower at 30 3/8, down by 5/16 (-1.02%) on volume of 10,778,800 shares trading hands.

Intel announced better than expected earnings today, but barely. The company reported earnings excluding acquisition-related costs of $2.63 billion, or 38 cents a share. This beats last yearis results of $2.39 billion, or 34 cents a share. Consensus calls placed the reults to be at 37 cents a share. The stock closed at 31 3/8, off by 3/4 (-2.33%) on volume of 59,748,400 shares trading hands.

Microsoft also had a down day at 52 9/16, lower by 15/16 (-1.75%) on volume of 34,185,500 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.