Apple Stock Watch: AAPL Soars as the OS X Buzz Spreads

The slow-motion rallies on the Dow and the Nasdaq continued today even ahead of the long weekend. But most impressive was Appleis stock which continued to soar for the tenth consecutive day, although most of its PC peers lost ground.

Summer is unofficially over for the investing community and market activity should began to pick up as we enter the pre-announcement period for the 3rd quarter next week. The feeling on Wall Street is get in now or get left behind.

Appleis stock racked up 2 1/2 or 4.10% to close at 63 7/16 on volume of 4.5 million shares.

The stock closed pennies below the high for the day. It even gapped up $0.50 at 2:00 PM on a minute chart, a rather unusually occurrence. AAPL is now pressed up against resistance in the $64 range, after a rally the likes of which have not been seen since last October. Even then, AAPL took a breather every few days. See the latest Apple Trader article, "All Aboard The AAPL Express" for a view of what could come next.

Henry Norr of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote an insightful essay noting what Apple seems to have to known all along --Internet appliances arenit ready for prime time just yet.

The Nasdaq climbed 27 points (0.67%) to close at 4234 on volume of 1.4 billion shares.

The Dow rallied 23 points (0.21%) to close at 11238 on volume of 771 million shares. Crude oil remained above $33 per barrel ahead of the heavy driving expected in the US this labor day weekend.

The S&P 500 climbed 3.09 points (0.20%) to close at 1520.77.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai shed 3 3/8 to 72 3/16. Adobe roared ahead by 5 5/16 to 135 5/16. Motorola lost 3/8 to 35 7/8.

IBM climbed 1 9/16 to 133 5/8 after the company announced it, "will invest $200 million over the next four years on seven Linux development centers in the Asia-Pacific region," according to CBS MarketWatch.

Lexmark (LXK), a beaten-down laser printer company, gained $15 this week to 69 15/16 after an analyst painted a rosy sales forecast. That optimism spread to Hewlett Packardis stock today which soared 4 39/64 to close at 125 1/4.

Be Inc (BEOS), an alternative operating system and software developer, announced the appointment of P.C. Berndt as chief financial officer yesterday and today the stock price spiked upward. BEOS climbed 5/8 to 5 9/32.

Appleis competitors: Dell lost 9/16 to 43 1/16. Gateway was higher by 0.56 to 68.68. Compaq gave back 1/4 to 33 13/16. Intel fell 15/16 to 73 15/16.

A US federal judge ordered Microsoft Corp. to pay $1 million in punitive damages to Bristol Technology Inc. for deceiving the small company during a licensing dispute over the Windows NT operating system. The Judge also ruled that "Microsoft chairman Bill Gates gave an intentionally false statement during a 1996 speech in which he assured other software companies and customers that Microsoft would continue to provide its latest products for conversion to UNIX programs," according to The Canadian Press. Shares of Microsoft climbed by 3/8 to 70 3/16.

Sun Microsystems plans to launch its long-delayed UltraSPARC III processor on September 11th. Sun climbed 1 11/16 to 128 5/8.

In economic news: From the Wall Street Journal: "The National Association of Purchasing Management reported Friday that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 49.5 in August, from 51.8 in July. The reading put the index below 50 for the first time since January 1999. Figures below 50 indicate economic contraction, while readings above 50 indicate growth."

Thatis music to the stock markets, at least in the short run, since it all but eliminates the possibility of a Fed interest rate hike later this year. However, donit be surprised that if economic weakness continues Wall Street will begin to worry about corporate earnings going forward and calls for interest rate cuts will increase.

In another report, the labor Department said US unemployment edged up to 4.1% in August from 4.0% in July. Unemployment had hit a 30-year low in April at 3.9%, then rose to 4.1% in May.

Meanwhile, construction spending also showed the effects of a slowing economy, declining 1.6% in July to the lowest levels since last November. However, in a year-to-year comparison, construction spending is up 3.8% in July.

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 Apple Stock Watch Special Report.