Buyers Return To Wall Street, AAPL Pushed Up 3%

Wednesday Morning Trading

The markets moved higher starting with the opening bell on Wednesday as bargain hunters scavenged the Street following Tuesdayis dramatic sell-off.

On Tuesday, few stocks were left unscathed as investors returned from the last holiday weekend of the summer and were abruptly greeted by disappointing numbers from the economyis manufacturing sector. The reports sent tremors across the trading floor and investors actively sold shares in a frenzied effort to cut their exposure to the markets.

Wednesday Afternoon Trading

Soon after the noon hour, the indexes lost their morning gains and fell south of their opening levels, but muted optimism that Tuesdayis bad news had worked its way through the markets pushed prices sharply higher. The major market indexes moved virtually in unison throughout the day and vaulted higher in the final two hours of trading. By the closing bell on Wall Street, a broad advance in stock prices was showing surprising strength and depth, though the dayis gains were substantially below Tuesdayis extraordinary losses.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average moved up 117.07 to finish at 8,425.12. The S&P 500 Index gained 15.38 to close at 893.40. The NASDAQ Composite Index jumped 28.47 to end the day at 1,292.31. Apple added US$.42 on above-average volume, the share price sitting at US$14.47 when the closing bell rang. Appleis market cap increased by some US$150 million to US$5.197 billion from Tuesdayis lows.

Microsoft

In an interesting development in the Microsoft anti-trust melodrama, a Florida court has rejected Microsoftis requests to dismiss a Florida class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of Windows users in the Sunshine State.

The most significant effect on the PC industry from the successful lawsuit filed against Microsoft by the Department of Justice and 18 US states may not be the final settlement of that suit currently under review by a US District Court. Although Judge Jacksonis original remedy to break-up Microsoft was set-aside on appeal and the appellate court ordered a new round of remedy hearings, the determination that Microsoft is a monopoly that operated in an illegal way survived Microsoftis aggressive and expensive appeal to the higher court.

This means that plaintiffs no longer need to prove that Microsoft is a monopoly, only that they were injured by Microsoftis illegal use of its monopoly power. This saves potential plaintiffs hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in legal fees and years of time for cases to work their way through the courts. In short, Judge Jacksonis decision that Microsoft has operated a monopoly in an illegal way has opened the floodgates for law suits against the software giant over its illegal behavior.

Apple

In a surprise announcement, Apple will be selling its iPod MP3 player through the Best Buy retail chain and on the Best Buy Web site. A TMO report on the Apple announcement recounts the companyis history with the retail chain.

This weekend will mark the opening of an Apple retail store in Westchester County, NY. Apple now has over 40 retail stores located in high traffic malls and shopping centers throughout the US. The retail stores continue to be one of Appleis primary means to win converts to the Macintosh platform.

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