Dow Below 10K, But Apple Adds 4% To Close Over 20

Yesterdayis rally was short lived, and the Dow took off spelunking below the 10,000 level, commonly considered a key support level for psychological reasons. The Dow has not seen the south side of the 10k mark for five months, and first crested the same level in 1999. The Dow lost 317.34 points on the day, its 10th biggest point decline ever. The Nasdaq, on the other hand, held its own, at least compared to the Dow. The Nasdaq closed down 42 points, with box makers, of all sectors, actually showing some gains.

The news that sparked todayis sell off was global in nature as concerns of the US economyis demise might be bringing down other economies. There is talk of a couple of major Japanese banks that may be have to declare bankruptcy as fall out from the Japanese governmentis complete inability to manage their economy responsibly. There are lots of issues involved in this concept, but trouble has been brewing in the Japanese economy for much of the last two years. According to a CBS Marketwatch report:

The latest market rout was triggered by mounting concerns that the U.S. economic slowdown will ignite a global downturn. Bank stocks were the hardest hit -- provoking heavy losses in European bourses as well -- as fears took hold that Japanis dismal stock market will negatively impact its banking system.

For one, rating agency Fitch placed the individual ratings of 19 Japanese banks on "Rating Watch Negative" due to growing concerns over the impact of falling share prices and lingering asset quality problems. And Goldman Sachs lowered estimates on a slew of European banks. See related story.

"The spreading of Japanis problems has increased the systemic risks posed to the world financial system," noted Tony Crescenzi, chief bond market strategist at Miller Tabak & Co.

Crescenzi cited growing concerns that changes in Japanese accounting rules and the drop in the Nikkei 225 could render many of Japanis banks insolvent and that it will unleash liquidation of foreign securities held by those firms.

All of the Dow Jones Industrials closed lower today, and decliners led advancers 3 to 1 on the NYSE. All of this bad news has increased speculation that the Fed would move to cut interest rates on March 20th, and this time analysts are talking about a cut of more than 50 basis points (a half point), perhaps even 75 basis points.

Apple has disbanded its Cube development team according to a report from MacUser UK. The report emphasizes this does not mean that the Cube is going to be canceled, but that additional R&D is not going to be performed for the model. The Cube will instead continue to be updated with new components. Our take is that the Cube is going to be iced, if this report is accurate. Apple didnit comment for the story, but they did release Final Cut Pro 2, their video editing solution. This should positively impact the current quarter as the new version begins shipping on March 19th and the product have been wildly successful. Apple also announced they were acquiring PowerSchool for $62 million in stock. PowerSchool is a provider of web-based student information systems for schools.

Appleis stock started off in negative territory, but quickly headed north. The stock traded in moderately heavy volume and ended the day above the 20 mark again. The dayis range was 18 7/16 - 20 3/8.

Apple closed at 20 3/8, a gain of 13/16 (+4.15%), n moderately strong volume of 8,530,000 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 1972.09, down 42.69 (-2.12%), on volume of 2,147,755,000 shares trading hands.

The Dow closed at 9972.57, down 318.23 (-3.09%), on volume of 1,379,621,000 shares trading hands.

The S&P 500 closed at 1166.57, off by 31.09 (-2.60%).

Akamai was downgraded by SunTrust Equitable from a Buy to an Attractive Long Term Accumulate. The company also announced a couple of new deal and a new product today. AKAM closed at 11 5/16, a small loss of 1/8 (-1.09%), on strong volume of 3,360,800 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Adobe closed at 26 1/8, a loss of 1 1/4 (-4.57%), on light volume of 3,369,600 shares trading hands.

IBM closed at 94.96, a loss of 3.43 (-3.49%), on strong volume of 14,206,500 shares trading hands.

Motorola continues to lose stock value as the company is hammered for weaknesses in the cell-phone market. Yesterday, Motorola announced 7,000 layoffs in their cell-phone division. Today, the stock traded lower to close at 14.49, a loss of 0.71 (-4.67%), on strong volume of 14,890,400 shares trading hands.

Earthlink closed at 9 7/8, down 7/8 (-8.14%), on volume of 2,159,400 shares trading hands.

Gateway joined Apple in the winneris circle to close at 16.09, a gain of 0.19 (+1.19%), on volume of 2,899,900 shares trading hands.

Dell too closed higher at 24 3/8, up 7/16 (+1.83%), on strong volume of 43,119,100 shares trading hands.

Hewlett Packard closed at 30.95, off by 0.65 (-2.06%), on volume of 7,295,900 shares trading hands.

Intel closed 29, a loss of 3/8 (-1.28%), on strong volume of 57,293,700 shares trading hands.

Microsoft closed at 54, a loss of 3/16 (-0.35%), on strong volume of 45,234,400 shares trading hands.

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 updated Apple Stock Watch Special Report. You can also check out our Apple Financial Boards, a new moderated forum for Apple Investors and people who are interested in Appleis financial dealings.