The markets fell at the opening bell on Monday as investors faced the news of US Airwayis bankruptcy filing and concerns that WorldCom, due to the recent discovery of an additional $3 billion in accounting irregularities, may not emerge from its Chapter 11 reorganization as an intact corporate entity. As the number two long distance carrier, WorldComis problems continue to plague the telecom market. US Airwayis bankruptcy filing may be a harbinger of more bad news to come as the airline industry and related industries continue to struggle in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and from the effects of a weak economy.
Investors also had Tuesdayis meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on their minds. The FOMC sets the Fedis general interest rate policy. Some analysts and economists expect the Fed to drop interest rates at this weekis meeting but most analysts and economists expect rates to remain unchanged but are concerned as to whether or not the Fed will strongly signal its willingness to move rates lower if economic growth appears to have stalled.
August 14th is the deadline for top executives to certify the financial results of their companies. Although the new regulation is designed to make corporate executives more accountable for the financial activities at their companies, the deadline is also a reminder that large scale accounting problems that have caused investors to lose confidence and helped push stock prices to recent five-year lows.
Monday Afternoon Activity
In late afternoon trading the major market indexes pushed toward positive territory. At the closing bell the NASDAQ Composite Index was .72 higher on the day, finishing at 1,306.84. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 56.56 at 8,688.89. The S&P 500 closed down 4.84 at 903.80. Apple was off $.01 at $14.99.
An Apple executive in Europe has stated publicly that the Mac maker intends to break even in the fourth fiscal quarter that ends in September. Itis unusual for Apple executives other than Steve Jobs or CFO Fred Anderson to publicly comment on Appleis financial performance expectations. During the conference call with analysts following the release of the companyis third fiscal quarter results, Mr. Anderson stated that Apple expected to break even on operations but extraordinary charges, including one-time expenses for staff reductions at Appleis Sacramento plant and write-downs in the value of the companyis holding in Earthlink and Akamai might put the company in the red for the current three month period.
In another indication that IBM is aggressively moving forward with its plans for the next generation of PowerPC chips, Big Blue has announced the opening of a new microprocessor development and manufacturing facility in New York. IBMis forthcoming 64-bit PowerPC technology has already caught the attention of Macintosh enthusiasts.
On Monday, AOL, the online services division of AOL Time Warner, released a new version of AOL software for Mac OS X based on Netscapeis Gecko technology rather than technology from Microsoftis Internet Explorer product. AOL, which purchased Netscape and its products, maybe using the new version of AOL software for OS X to test the Gecko technology before going head-to-head with Microsoft in a new browser war.Check out the new and vastly improved Apple Finance Boards, a moderated forum for Apple Investors and people who are interested in Appleis financial dealings!
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.