Apple Investors Ebullient, Stock Rises 5%

The markets completed another strong day today with the Dow tacking on another 260 points, and the Nasdaq gaming more than 50 points. The Dow is now only 53 points away from the magical 10,000 number, while the Nasdaq has climbed back to within 28 points from its own psychologically important 2000 level. Tech stocks performed well, and Apple added on 5% to erase most of yesterdayis losses. CBS Marketwatch cited leadership from Dell and Apple for helping to advance hardware stocks, and included a nice line about Apple in the report:

Apple Computer, the maker of the flashy IMac [sic] computer and other systems, watched its shares jump $1.09 to $22.88. By comparison, the stock hit a 52-week high of $71 one year ago.

That nice quote is accompanied by the grim reminder of Appleis fall from grace, but thatis just nit-picking, isnit it? Tomorrow, things are not likely to look as good for tech stocks, however. Palm announced its earnings after the bell, and included in the announcement were statements warning for the next quarter due to a precipitous decline in new orders. The company will be postponing completion of their new headquarters and will be taking what CNBC called "other measures to cut costs." The company posted earnings of 2 cents a share, double the expected 1 penny per share that analysts expected, and revenues were just shy of expectations. The companyis warning for the next quarter will most likely have a dampening effect on the rally that has been brewing for the last few trading sessions. Palmis stock was halted in after-hours trading until 5:10 PM EST.

In the meanwhile, the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) 0for March was released this morning, coming in at 117. The consensus estimate had been 105. Those numbers might not mean much to you and I, but the long and short is that consumers have grown much more confident about the state of the economy according to the criteria used in the CCI. Confident consumers tend to spend more money, which helps public companies. This is what sparked todayis rally.

The Dow has risen some 558 points since last Friday. Todayis volume was moderate, but stronger than yesterdayis light demand, suggesting that investors are more confident in the rally.

Apple added 5%, as we mentioned above. The stock opened in positive territory and stayed there throughout the day, closing just below the dayis highs. AAPL traded in a range of 21.9 - 23.05 on moderately strong volume.

Apple closed at 22.87, up 1.09 (+5.00%), on moderately strong volume of 9,652,300 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 1972.23, a gain of 53.74 (+2.80%), on volume of 1,939,846,000 shares trading hands.

The Dow closed at 9947.54, a gain of 260.01 (+2.68%), on volume of 1,314,433,000 shares trading hands.

The S&P 500 closed 1182.18, up 29.49 (+2.56%).

Akamai erased most of yesterdayis gains, and closed at 9, a loss of 13/32 (-4.32%), on light volume of 1,371,800 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Adobe announced X versions of several of their apps today. ADBE closed higher at 36.6, up 3.01 (+8.96%), on volume of 5,187,500 shares trading hands.

IBM closed at 99.50, up 4.10 (+4.30%), on strong volume of 11,807,000 shares trading hands.

Motorola closed at 15.96, down 0.33 (-2.03%), on light volume of 10,368,200 shares trading hands.

Earthlink closed lower at 11 7/16, down 5/8 (-5.18%), on strong volume of 3,746,700 shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 17.00, a gain of 3 pennies (+0.18%), on light volume of 1,709,500 shares trading hands.

Dell closed at 27, a gain of 1 5/16 (+5.11%), on strong volume of 44,463,400 shares trading hands.

Intel closed at 29 3/8, a gain of 1 1/16 (+3.75%), on heavy volume of 71,783,800 shares trading hands.

Microsoft closed at 58 1/4, a strong gain of 2 3/16 (+3.90%), on volume of 46,736,500 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. 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.