Afternoon Losses Knock Apple Off Of Seven Month Highs

Holy reversal-of-fortunes Batman! Stocks started the day off with a bang. Investors were cheered that consumer spending was strong in March, up .3%, while personal income rose some .5% during the month. Quick as you can say "geepers, it looks like we never even had a recession," concerns that all this good news will keep the Fed from dropping interest rates as much creeped in to spoil investor sentiment. According to a Reuters report:

The data boosted optimism the U.S. economy may be on its way back from the brink of recession, but it also suggested the U.S. Federal Reserve (news - web sites) may not cut rates by a half percentage point at its next meeting May 15. The Fed has cut interest rates four times so far this year by a total of two percentage points, or 200 basis points, in an effort to spur economic growth. In each rate cut, the Fed reduced borrowing costs by 50 basis points, or a half percentage point, at a time.

"The Fed may be leaning toward 25 basis points instead of a larger decrease," said Peter Maher, head trader at Bryn Mawr Trust Co., which oversees about $2 billion. "Investors were looking for a boost from lower rates."

End of the month "letis lock in profits" pressure seemed to have outweighed end of the month window dressing as well. This from another Reuters report:

"The tech market is doing better as people did not want to get caught underinvested if the economy is stabilizing. But in blue chips, there is some profit-taking from the gains of recent weeks," said Peter Coolidge, managing director of equity trading at investment firm Brean Murray & Co.

Still, tech stocks, with some notable exceptions, managed to turn in modest gains as a whole. Blue Chips and financials ended the day in the red. The Nasdaq closed some 43 points off the dayis highs. The Dow closed some 160 points off the dayis highs, closing in negative territory. April was still a good month for both indexes, however, as the Dow added 8.7% to its totals, while the Nasdaq tacked on more than 15%. CNBC is reporting that April is a record month for the Nasdaq in terms of point and percentage gains. Not bad for a "bear market."

That brings us to Apple. We reported this morning that Apple was trading at a seven month high. Fortunately for our reputation, the markets were there for us to turn Appleis gains to a big fat loss, and Apple dropped back below that seven month high to close in negative territory. The company announced today that QuickTime 5.01 was downloaded some 1.5 million times in its first week. That bodes well for Appleis multimedia software, but still leaves them far behind rivals RealNetworks and Microsoft. The company also announced it had hired a new vice president of Developer Relations, having scored Ron Okamoto from Adobe. The move comes less than a month before the next World Wide Developer Conference. In other Apple related news, Eastman-Kodak announced that it had purchased, and online image services site in which Apple was an investor.

Apple started the day off strong, trading as high as 27.12. Volume for the stock was moderately strong. AAPL helped lead the markets downward in late afternoon trading, and ended the day in the red. The stock did manage to bounce off of the dayis lows, however. The dayis trading range was 24.87 - 27.12.

Apple closed at 25.49, a loss of 0.71 (-2.71%), on strong volume of 8,833,800 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 2116.31, a gain of 40.63 (+1.96%), on volume of 2,024,185,000 shares trading hands.

The Dow closed at 10734.97, down 75.08 (-0.69%), on volume of 1,228,273,000 shares trading hands.

The S&P 500 closed at 1249.46, down 3.59 (-0.29%).

Akamai announced a new initiative with Enterprise heavyweight, Oracle. The two companies have developed a new dynamic Web page technology they are submitting to the "appropriate standards bodies for approval as a standard later this spring." AKAM closed at 9.41, a gain of 1.50 (+18.96%), on strong volume of 4,578,400 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Adobe closed at 44.93, a loss of 0.69 (-1.51%), on light volume of 4,670,000 shares trading hands.

IBM closed at 115.14, down 1.06 (-0.91%), on light volume of 7,334,000 shares trading hands.

Motorola closed at 15.55, a gain of 6 cents (+0.39%), on light volume of 10,033,800 shares trading hands.

Earthlink closed at 10.94, a loss of 0.16 (-1.44%), on strong volume of 3,000,400 shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 19.00, a loss of 0.50 (-2.56%), on volume of 2,786,300 shares trading hands.

Dell has apparently taken the #1 US server vendor spot from Compaq, according to a PC Data survey released. DELL closed at 26.24, a gain of 0.24 (+0.92%), on light volume of 36,117,600 shares trading hands.

Intel closed at 30.91, a gain of 0.73 (+2.42%), on light volume of 41,235,900 shares trading hands.

Microsoft has announced a new innovative service it will be buying. This week, itis in the form of e-commerce software maker NCompass Labs. MSFT closed at 67.75, up 0.63 (+0.94%), on light volume of 36,466,600 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.