Failed Rallies Leaves Nasdaq at 52-week Low, But We Have Much To Be Thankful For!

There was hardly a reason for investors to buy stocks on Wednesday ahead of the long Thanksgivings Day holiday in the U.S. The Nasdaq nose-dived early in the day falling below 2,800 for the first time since October of 1999. U.S. stock markets will be open for an abbreviated trading session on Friday.

The stock markets later rallied on news that Miami-Dade county officials were quitting their hand recount because they canit meet the Sunday deadline put in place by Floridais supreme court, but stock prices then faded quickly. William Daley, Goreis point-man in Florida said Mr. Gore will sue to extend the new recount deadline. Mr. Bush also made an appearance to criticize the supreme courtis decision to extend the vote certification deadline, but for different reasons. The fact that Floridais supreme court has made neither Messrs. Gore or Bush happy probably means their ruling is fair and rational.

Meanwhile, Palm Beach county officials have hand recounted enough of the vote to extrapolate that the results will leave Mr. Bush in the lead if they continue with the current vote-counting guidelines which exclude the so-called dimpled ballots.

Gold rallied all week off its recent lows and the U.S. treasury market is benefiting substantially from the election fiasco in Florida. Investors have been more inclined to park cash in money market mutual funds while stoically waiting out the turmoil rather than feed the stock market slot machine any more quarters. Traders fully expect a rally once the nation picks a leader but in the prevailing bearish atmosphere, where every earnings forecast seems to be in question, many observers have doubts about how sustainable any rally will be.

As the latest sign of the times... software maker Intuit (INTU) lost 4.19 to close at 44 dollars after announcing fiscal Q1 earnings that soundly beat Wall Streetis expectations. However, in what has become par for the course this earnings season, Intuit guided sales forecasts for Q2 lower saying more customers will buy Quicken online next year pushing sales further towards the tax deadline than in the past.

Apple lost 5/16 or -1.66%, to close at 18 1/2 on volume of 5 million shares.

News broke that Apple appears to be planning to open an Apple retail outlet in Chicago. According to Chicago Business:

"Apple Computer Inc. is close to leasing the storefront at Michigan Avenue and Huron Street that Gap Inc. vacated when it moved to a new flagship store on the retail strip last week. Various media outlets have reported that the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker is preparing to open a handful of flagship stores, but the company has not confirmed those plans. The Apple store here likely would open next spring, according to a person familiar with the matter. The owner of the 28,000-square-foot space and Apple officials could not be reached Friday for comment."

The reports that Apple now has at least four brick and mortar retail stores planned counting the Chicago store and "three stores it is known to be preparing in Palo Alto, Glendale and another location in California."

The Nasdaq shed 116 points (-4.04%) to closed at 2755 on unusually high volume for a pre-holiday session of 1.8 billion shares traded. The Nasdaq has lost 9% in the last three days

The Dow slipped 95 points (-0.91%) to 10399 closing at its low for the month on volume of 966 million shares.

The S&P 500 bottomed out by 25 points (-1.86%) to close at 1322.35 for a new 52-week low.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai lost 3 15/16 to close at 32 1/8 — a new all time low for the Internet content-streaming venture. Adobe lost 7 11/16 to close at 72 5/16 hit by a downdraft in the software sector. Earthlink lost 25/32 to 7 3/32.

Hewlett Packard is planning its annual meeting with financial analysts on December 6th. HP lost 1/4 to 33 11/16.

Gateway announced plans to begin selling computers in India — a nation where cows are sacred. Bloomberg News noted, "Dell Computer, the worldis No. 1 direct seller of personal computers, started operations in the country in August. PC penetration in the worldis second-most populous country is expected to be 20 per 1,000 people by 2008, from 4.5 per thousand at present, according to Indiais Manufacturersi Association for Information Technology." Gateway lost 1.44 to 33.20 — a 52-week low.

PC stocks were weak across the board. Dell lost 5/8 to 23 dollars. Compaq lost 0.65 to close at 23.40.

Due to Chileis bounce-back from a recession in 1998-99, Microsoft claims that software sales at its Chilean subsidiary are growing faster than expected. The company said that next year a 25% surge in unit sales is expected in the booming south American nation. Microsoft climbed 1/2 to close at 68 1/4.

For other stories regarding Appleis stock activity, visit our Apple Stock Watch Special Report.