Election Uncertainty Chills Wall Street, Nasdaq Falls to New 52-Week Low

Investors voted with their feet on Friday, leaving the market in droves as the Presidential stalemate promises to linger into next week. Meanwhile, downgrades for Intel and Dell based on forecasts of slowing PC sales growth hammered the tech stocks, including Appleis.

Mark Bonahoe at U.S Piper Jaffray told C/NET News, "Thereis no question that the presidential election has had an effect on the market over the past few days. The market is just starving for a definitive answer once and for all."

Add another E the markets worries. Before the presidential stalemate all Wall Street had to worry about was the Economy, Earnings, Energy prices and the weak Euro, now we can add the unresolved Election too.

The stalemate once resolved could leave a weakened presidential mandate and possibly a gridlock in congress for whoever eventually takes office. Believe it or not, in the past the stock markets have found times of political logjam in Washington D.C. beneficial for stock prices.

Appleis stock dipped 1 1/8, or -5.57%, to close at 19 1/16 on volume of 7.5 million shares.

Chiat/Day, Appleis advertising agency, changed Appleis account executives in what may forebode changes in Appleis "Think Different" advertising campaign.

However, according to MacWeek.com:

"Chief creative officer Lee Clow continues to oversee the account, Adweek reported. Clow is best known for his work on Appleis "1984" commercial that introduced the Mac--a spot that TV Guide named the greatest commercial of all time. Clow was also the creative lead on Appleis "Think Different" commercial and the companyis current advertising campaigns."

The Nasdaq shed 171 points (-5.35%) to close at 3029 on volume of 1.75 billion shares for a 12% loss for the week

For a second day the Nasdaq held above the 3,000 support level during this latest down draft, but many observers expect the Nasdaq to fall to at least 2850, the next support level down. The Nasdaq scored a new 52-week low this Friday, about 40% below it high for the year and 900 points below the indexis 50-day moving average. November 2nd, 1999 was the last time the Nasdaq was below 3,000.

Itis interesting to note that the Nasdaqis big rally last year started in late October at about 2800. A year later and we are back to where we started.

The Dow sold off 231 points (-2.13%) to close at 10602 on volume of 965 million shares. The Dow is off by 11% this week.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai fell 1.75 to 49 1/8. Adobe lost 5 3/4 to 77 7/16. IBM fell 6 7/16 to 93 dollars. Motorola lost 1 3/16 to 21 3/4.

Morgan Stanleyis downgrade of Dell set the tone for computer hardware stocks. The Austin-based PC vendor met earnings expectations yesterday, but guided earlier 30% revenue growth forecasts for 2001 downward to 20%, about 7% lower than 2000.

"Dell has either missed (earnings per share) or essentially lowered guidance in four of the last five quarters," a Morgan Stanley statement claimed. "We think it will take some time for investors to get comfortable that we have reached the end of downward EPS estimate revisions."

The Wall Street Journal commented, "Dell has been long lauded as a paradigm of efficiency because of its low expenses and success selling directly to consumers. But Dellis cost advantage has been reduced because rivals have copied its indirect sales model; and it is no longer able to grow at two to three times the industry average without sacrificing profits." Dell bombed 5 3/8 to 23 dollars.

Another Morgan Stanley analyst, Mark Edelstone, downgraded Intel to a "neutral" from "outperform" and cut the semiconductor giantis 2000 earnings to $1.68 from $1.70. "Available data indicates overall PC demand remained sluggish in October," wrote Mr. Edelstone. Intel stock price dived 4 3/8 to 37 dollars.

Gateway and AOL unveiled, an "always-on Web device that provides Internet access from anywhere in a home." The alleged, plug-and-play "Connected Touch Pad" uses a low-energy Crusoe processor from Transmeta (TMTA) and costs $599, available December first. But the announcement of a new product didnit save Gateway from setting a new 52-week low on the Intel and Dell news, down 6 1/2 to 39 3/4.

The insecure global monoculture of Wintel PC has caught a new infection. Called Navidad, the computer virus has infected PCs at about 10 Fortune 500 corporations spread by e-mail attachments. A Windows security expert describes the virus as "not destructive", since all the virus seems to do is "place on the computeris desktop an icon that looks like an eye, which stops most programs from being run." Macintosh computers are not effected by the virus. Shares of Microsoft plunged 3 1/2 to 67 3/8.

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.