Cisco Weighs Down Techs, Apple Posts 12 Cent Gain

Volume was once again light in a mixed session, as investors continue to sit on the sidelines. One of the things they have been waiting for is Ciscois earnings report which was delivered after the bell today. Those numbers wonit help tomorrows trading, but letis get through todayis trading first. On the economic front, productivity numbers for the June quarter showed a healthy increase. While this suggests the economy can continue to grow based on ever-improving productivity alone, it wasnit enough to overcome investor angst on current corporate earnings. From a Reuters report:

"Youive started to see some signs in the economic data that things are going to be looking a bit better, but until some of that data starts showing up in company reports, the market is probably going to trade a little listlessly," said Richard Nash, chief investment strategist at Key Asset Management in Cleveland.

That about sums it up. The Dow and the Nasdaq both turned in low trading volume; the Dow traded just under 1 billion shares while the Nasdaq turned in more than 1.3 billion shares. This is weak by normal standards, but an improvement over yesterdayis anemic results. The markets were mixed as Blue Chips took a small gain at the expense of small losses among techs. The stocks we track in the Stock Watch were also mixed, with Apple closing on the plus side.

When trading kicks off tomorrow, investors are likely to have their minds on Ciscois results, and that isnit likely to put anyone in a buying mood.

Industry News

Cicso reported after the closing bell. The company met expectations of a 2 cent per share profit on a pro forma basis. Real profits were US$7 million, or break even on a per share basis. From a CBS Marketshare report:

Cisco Systems met analyst expectations as it reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $7 million, or break even on a per share basis. In the same period last year, Cisco had net income of $796 million, or 11 cents a share. During the previous quarter, Cisco reported a net loss of $2.69 billion, or 37 cents a share.

Revenue was $4.3 billion, down from $5.72 billion during the same quarter last year, and slightly below the average target of $4.35 billion among analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call. During the previous quarter, revenue was $4.73 billion.

As they have since the downturn began, Cisco blamed the economy for its sales shortfall, and said that things look good for sometime in the future. Cisco closed at 19.26, down 0.28 (-1.43%) on strong volume of 77 million shares trading hands. Cicsco was trading lower in after-hours trading.

You may want to sit down for this, but Microsoft is once again in our Industry News section. The company has announced that it will appeal its conviction for being a monopolist to the US Supreme Court. In a move clearly designed to be a delaying tactic, the company has asked the Supreme Court to throw out its conviction based on the biases displayed by Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson. It is unlikely that the Supreme Court will review the case as they seldom accept cases that were unanimously decided by an appeals court. Microsoft has asked the appeals court where the case currently stands to delay returning the remedy phase to a new lower court until after the Supreme Court has acted on Microsoftis petition. The company is concerned about Windows XP being delayed, and these moves are attempting to circumvent any attempts by the DoJ and the 18 Statesi Attorneys General to seek an injunction against Windows XPis release. The IndustryStandard has a good report on the issue.

Microsoftis stock moved higher by 22 cents on very light volume.

Apple Industry News

Appleis stock started out just south of yesterdayis close, but quickly headed into positive territory. AAPL stayed in the black for the rest of the day where it dipped an jittered about in rather light volume. The dayis trading range was 18.98 - 19.67.

Apple closed at 19.25, up 0.12 (+0.63%), on very light volume of 2,982,600 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 2027.79, down 6.47 (-0.32%), on volume of 1,314,555,000 trading hands.

The Dow closed at 10458.74, a gain of 57.43 (+0.55%), on volume of 982,026,000 trading hands.

The S&P 500 closed at 1204.40, up 3.92 (+0.33%).

Adobe closed at 34.42, down 2.34 (-6.37%), on very strong volume of 6,721,000 shares trading hands.

Akamai closed at 7.40, down 8 cents (-1.07%), on light volume of 973,900 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Earthlink closed at 15.47, up 0.41 (+2.72%), on volume of 2,028,300 shares trading hands.

IBM closed at 106.25, down 0.26 (-0.24%), on light volume of 4,003,300 shares trading hands.

Macromedia closed at 16.93, up 0.13 (+0.77%), on light volume of 379,200 shares trading hands.

Motorola closed at 18.60, unchanged, on volume of 5,367,400 shares trading hands. Motorola manufactures the processors used in Appleis Macintosh line.

Dell closed at 27.71, down 0.13 (-0.47%), on light volume of 15,390,500 shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 11.20, down 9 cents (+0.81%), on light volume of 1,241,800 shares trading hands.

Intel closed at 30.62, up 0.34 (+1.12%),on volume of 43,528,700 shares trading hands.

Microsoft closed at 66.35, up 0.22 (+0.33%), on very light volume of 15,206,900 shares trading hands.

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