Apple's Stock Rallies For a Fifth Day Ahead of Seybold Next Week

The stock markets seem to be treading water while waiting for the summer to end. But that doesnit mean trouble ahead, on the contrary, optimism is building for breakout rallies on both the Dow and the Nasdaq. Meanwhile, Appleis stock continues to trend higher powered by a slew of recent upgrades.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs will deliver the keynote address at Seybold next Tuesday. A CNET article points out that the important print and web publishing trade show will be a magnet for corporate and research luminaries. "Several other tech leaders are giving talks at Seybold, including Adobe Systems chief executive John Warnock, Sun Microsystems chief researcher John Gage, Eastman Kodak chief executive Daniel Carp, and John Seely Brown, director of Xeroxis Palo Alto Research Center."

Appleis stock climbed 45/64 to close at 56 13/16 on high volume of 5.8 million shares trading.

Wit SoundView placed an upgrade on AAPL from iBuyi to iStrong Buyi this morning. Wit SoundView analyst Jason Wellsi 6-month price target remains at $76, and his earnings per share estimate for 2000 is still $1.85. See the earlier Mac Observer story.

An interesting article at The Motley Fool about tech product life cycles sheds some light on Appleis product strategy and on my own article about industrial design, The iMac: A Case Study In Historical Contingency & Evolutionary Convergence.

The Nasdaq fell 10 points to close at 4042 on volume of 1.2 billion shares to put the index just 10 point below where it started this year. The Nasdaq gained 67 points this week.

The Dow climbed 9 points to close at 11192 on very low volume of 674 million shares. The Dow climbed higher every day of this week, but only gained a total of 134 points. However, the Dow is up 669 points since August 1st, when the current rally began.

The S&P 500 dropped 1.86 points (-0.12%) to close at 1506.45.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai bounced 5 dollars to 70 1/8. Adobe fell 3/8 to 129 1/8. Earthlink fell 1/8 to 9 7/8.

Motorola gained 7/16 to 35 5/8 after announcing the company would have, "the first Internet GPRS (general packet radio service) mobile phone on the market by the fourth quarter of this year. If all goes as planned, Motorolais GPRS phone would be on sale at least a few months earlier than Nokia and Ericsson Telephone Co. (ERICY)."

IBM rallied 4 1/2 to 129 5/16, breaking through a tough resistance zone and heading towards new highs.

Appleis competitors: Dell lost 5/16 to 38 11/16 after announcing it will roll out a 1 GHz workstation next week based on the Pentium III Xeon processor. Gateway was higher by 1/8 to 66 1/8. Compaq gave back 1/16 to 33 11/16.

A Reuters article reports that many mutual funds are dropping Microsoftis stock like a hot potato this year. "Fidelity cut its holdings by 36 percent -- to 119 million shares from 185 million. Janus chopped its holdings by 47 percent -- to 18.1 million shares from 38.7 million shares -- and Putnam lowered its holdings by 14 percent -- to 48.4 million from 56.5 million."

"Other big sellers included American Century, T. Rowe Price, Oppenheimer Funds and AIM Management Group, all top-20 fund complexes, ranked by assets according to fund data firm Financial Research Corp in Boston. Bankers Trust, American Express Financial Advisors and Goldman Sachs also sold shares, " according to the article. Shares of MSFT were lower by 1/2 to 70 5/8.

Intel fell 1 1/4 to 73 dollars. Intel is pushing its new XScale processor in the emerging Internet device market. According to a article,

"While the PC business has been very good to Intel, that marketis growth rate is slowing. Handheld sales are likely to double in the coming year, according to NPD Intelect, a market research firm in Port Washington, N.Y. Supporting this, meanwhile, Framingham, Mass.-based research firm International Data Corp. predicts that handheld devices will outsell PCs sometime next year."

In economic news: Existing home sales fell a larger-than-expected 9.8% in July due to the higher mortgage rates. The Wall Street Journal commented, "Slowing in the interest-rate sensitive housing sector would fit neatly into a scenario of slowing growth. In the minutes of the June 27-28 Federal Reserve policy meeting, released Thursday, officials noted that there was iclear evidence of weakening demandi in the residential housing market."

Gross domestic product (GDP), "the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States", climbed a seasonally adjusted 5.3% in the second quarter after rising at a 4.8% rate in the first.

The Commerce Department also reported that inflation was steady at a 2.6% in the second quarter, while consumer spending chilled to a 2.9% annual rate after being as high as 7.6% in the first quarter, a 17-year high.

The Mac Observer Stock Watch Virtual Portfolio is rebounding nicely thanks to continued strength in Apple and IBMis stock.

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.