Several retailers turned in results today, and it wasnit pretty. Abercombie & Fitch reported sales that were down 14% from the year ago quarter, and The Gap said its sales were off by 12%. Other retailers such as WalMart and JC Penney reported slight increases in sales, but the investor mood was soured anyway. From a CBS Marketwatch report:
"Weive been in the fog for such a long time that everyoneis scared to death of getting hit by something they donit see coming. When you canit see anything, every bit of noise gets magnified," observed John Forelli, portfolio manager at Independence Investment.
"The same store sales reports seemed to spook a market that [appears] more fearful that the consumer will disappear and pull us into a recession than it is hopeful that business spending will reappear and pull us out of the slowdown," Forelli added. He said another 1/4 point rate cut from the Fed later in the month will work to buck up confidence but said investors now need to see hints of a recovery to get involved in the market again.
All that angst sent stocks south, but an afternoon rally helped recover most of those losses. The result was very little movement in either the Dow or the Nasdaq by the time all was said and done.
Apple Industry News
Appleis one day stock chart resembled the EKG that someone whois life hinged on how the stock actually ended the day might look like. Pardon that extended analogy, but the point is that AAPL jumped all over the place, but there is still no conviction in the stockis movement as reflected by volume. For short term investors, the important thing is that the stock ended the day 15 cents in the black and 10 cents off the dayis high. The dayis range was 18.72 - 19.15.
Apple closed at 19.05, up 15 cents (+0.79%), on light volume of 3,583,600 shares trading hands.
The Nasdaq closed at 1963.32, down 3.04 (-0.15%) , on volume of 1,459,477,000 trading hands.
The Dow closed at 10298.56, up 5.06 (+0.05%), on volume of 1,115,380,000 trading hands.
The S&P 500 closed at 1183.43, off a dime (-0.01% ).
Adobe closed at 34.77, up 0.71 (+2.08%), on volume of 4,057,300 shares trading hands.
Akamai closed at 6.53, down 0.36 (-5.22%), on volume of 2,347,500 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.
Earthlink closed at 14.40, down 0.70 (-4.64%), on volume of 2,165,500 shares trading hands.
IBM closed at 104.08, down 11 cents (-0.11%), on volume of 6,763,200 shares trading hands.
Macromedia closed at 16.35, up 0.85 (+5.48%), on light volume of 233,900 shares trading hands.
Motorola closed at 17.99, down 0.33 (-1.80%), on light volume of 6,519,800 shares trading hands. Motorola manufactures the processors used in Appleis Macintosh line.
Dell closed at 26.6, unchanged, on volume of 20,535,200 shares trading hands.
Gateway closed at 10.97, down 0.12 (-1.08%), on light volume of 1,165,700 shares trading hands.
Intel closed at 29.65, up 4 cents (+0.14%), on light volume of 35,740,300 shares trading hands.
Microsoft closed at 65.01, up 15 cents (+0.23%), on light volume of 22,768,900 shares trading hands.