Earnings Warnings, Iraqi Air Strike Drive Stocks & Apple Down

It was a dark day on Wall Street as a couple of factors combined to send stocks, tech stocks in particular down, down, down, in a burning ring of fire. From a broad-based stand point, Nortel started the tech route by warning that revenues in 2001 would fall short of expectations. The company also announced they would be cutting some 10,000 jobs in sweeping layoffs. Nortel lost more than 32% of its value on volume of 121 million shares. Nortel competitor Ciena helped sparked a small rally yesterday when they posted better than expected results.

From a more narrow outlook, Dell and HP contributed to the downturn as traders took to heart the message that their own sales would suffer throughout the year. Both companies reported yesterday with Dell missing expectations by a penny and HP meeting expectations. It was the ongoing negative sales and profit progonostication that set traders in a selling direction.

Next on the agenda was news that the US had conducted a bombing run in the so called "No-Fly" zone in southern Iraq. The US Defense Department has characterized the mission as routine, though it was the first such strike in 2 years, and as a self-defense measure. 24 aircraft hit 5 radar installations that the Defense Department says had been behaving in an aggressive fashion. That whacky Saddam, he still keeps plugging away... In any event, Wall Street usually gets very nervous when there are signs of war, unless the war is being started to improve the US economy. Today, it added to the selling pressure.

The end result was triple digit losses for both the Dow and the Nasdaq. The Nasdaq shed almost 5% of its value, while the S&P dropped 1.9%.

Apple tanked along with the rest of the tech sector. Trading volume was low and there was no specific Apple news guiding the selling. MACWORLD Tokyo will be held next week and Apple is largely expected to announce new iMacs, new Cubes, and new iBooks. Wall Street has shown little interest in these rumors so far. Apple opened low and traded in a very narrow range throughout the day from 18 3/4 - 19 1/2.

Apple closed at 19, down 1 1/16 (-5.30%) on light volume of 4,711,500 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 2425.40, down 127.51 (-4.99%).

The Dow closed at 10799.82, a loss of 91.20 (-0.84%).

The S&P 500 made it a family affair by closing at 1301.39, down 25.22 (-1.90%).

Akamai closed at 21 1/4, a loss of 2 1/16 (-8.85%) on volume of 2,649,400 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Adobe closed at 36 5/16, a loss of 2 5/8 (-6.74%) on volume of 7,762,900 shares trading hands.

IBM closed at 115.00, down 1.78 (-1.52%) on volume of 7,052,400 shares trading hands.

Motorola closed at 18.61, a loss of 0.52 (-2.72%) on light volume of 10,371,000 shares trading hands.

Earthlink was hit when ITC Services sold some 10.6 million shares of the company, but managed to end the day in positive territory as Juno re-sparked buyout rumors of Earthlink when they announced they were open to buying or being bought. ELNK closed at 9 1/4, a gain of 3/32 (+1.02%) on volume of 3,801,300 shares trading hands.

Gateway suffered the fate of all box makers today to close at 19.55, a loss of 1.40 (-6.68%) on light volume of 2,961,900 shares trading hands.

Dell closed at 23 1/2, down 1 1/2 (-6.00%) on volume of 38,969,100 shares trading hands.

Hewlett Packard closed lower at 32.76, down 3.59 (-9.88%) on volume of 10,792,600 shares trading hands.

Intel closed at 34 3/8, a loss of 1 7/16 (-4.01%) on volume of 41,270,900 shares trading hands.

Microsoft closed at 57 5/16, off by 1 1/2 (-2.55%) on volume of 33,306,200 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.