The markets opened on Monday with selling on the minds of traders. The major market indexes registered drops of more than one percent by the noon hour as investors fretted over the economy, problems in the Middle East and the continued gloom overhanging the tech sector. On Friday the markets recorded their fifth straight weekly decline. Concerns about pending earnings warnings sent investors running for cover, leaving the NASDAQ Composite Index perilously close to its sliding below its post September 11th nadir.
Monday Afternoon Trading
The markets rebounded from the morning lows in afternoon trading, powering past the dayis opening levels to record impressive intra-day gains. The rally began to fizzle late in the day as traders looked to this weekis economic reports with caution. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 28.03 at 9,281.82. The S&P 500 was up 3.43 at 992.57. The NASDAQ Composite Index ended up 19.38 at 1,460.34 . Apple finished higher by $.42 at $17.27 on above-average volume.
Despite the gain on the day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is at a level seen last October as the markets recovered from the September 11th lows. At this level the average does not reflect any of the growth recorded in the economy during 2002 nor the prospects for growth in corporate profits during the remaining six months of the calendar year. The S&P 500 Index is less than 50 points from its September lows, closing up just a few points on the day.
Apple continues to struggle in a difficult market for tech stocks. Following the companyis revenue and earnings warning, Appleis shares have dropped to fall 2001 levels. This is despite the companyis formidable cash position and slow but steady growth in market share. In Apple-related news, Salomon Smith Barney analyst Richard Gardner claims in a Reuters report that the Mac makeris sales shortfall is due to professional buyers waiting on new products rather than consumers choosing not to buy new Macs.
On Monday Goldman Sachs cuts its earnings estimate for Big Blue in 2002 by a nickel and its earnings estimate for next year by a dime. Although the change in estimates is modest, the brokerage firm cut its 12 month to 15 month target price on IBMis shares from the $100 per share range to $80 per share.
IBMis shares are now trading at levels not seen since 1998. Since reaching itis 52-week high of $126.39 in January, IBM shareholders have lost roughly $100 billion as the stock continues to fall to new lows. IBM set a new 52-week low today of $67.25 in intra-day trading. IBM is a heavily weighted component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. IBMis performance this year has masked the growth in share price of other Dow components. IBM finished the day at $69.70, up $.95 on the day.The Mac Observer Stock Quotes and Additional Market Information
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For full quotes on all the companies mentioned in this article, we have assembled a set of stock quotes at Yahoo! for your reference. For other stories regarding Appleis stock activity, visit our updated Apple Stock Watch Special Report.