Greenspan Throws Wet Blanket On Markets, Apple Drops... Again

It was a sleepadaisical day today on the Street. In advance of the long holiday weekend, many traders couldnit be bothered to check in. Moreis the pity as most stocks traded lower today on a raft of negative economic news. The day could have been much worse, as the Dow managed to stay above the 11000 mark and the Nasdaq shed less than 31 points to stay above 2250. Volume for both indexes was at "quick, grab the defibrillator" levels, as the Dow traded a bit more than 800 million shares, and the Nasdaq traded fewer than 1.4 billion.

Letis start with Alan Greenspan. The erstwhile Objectivist said in a speech Thursday night that the economic slow down was not at an end yet. From a Reuters report:

"The period of sub-par economic growth is not yet over, and we are not free of the risk that economic weakness will be greater than currently anticipated, requiring further policy responses," Greenspan said in a dinner speech Thursday night in New York City.

"Our front-loaded policy actions this year should be providing substantial support for a strengthening of economic activity later this year," Greenspan said.

"Undoubtedly businesses are feeling the effects of diminished pressures in product markets," Greenspan said. "With energy inflation probably peaking and the easing of tightness in labor markets expected to damp wage increases, prices seem likely to be contained."

So the bad news is that things are still slow, but the intense cuts in interest rates from the Fed should kick in later this year. Analysts quickly lined up to say "yeah, yeah, what he said." Mr. Greenspan also said that more cuts were in the offing, but they will probably not come all that soon. The markets didnit seem to respond well to the news, despite the fact that there is clear indication that inflation is in check and that another round of interest rate cuts are likely to happen. In the past three months, this has usually been used as a rallying point for investors.

Serving as a backdrop for Mr. Greenspanis speech was news that the Gross Domestic Product rose 1.3% in the first quarter of 2001, and that number was revised down from earlier estimates of 2% growth. Orders for big-ticket items also took a nose dive in April, falling 5%. In contrast to those data, the Michigan Sentiment Report edged up in May, the first rise in months. Check out this Reuters report for more information on these issues.

Borland has announced that they are retuning to the Mac space after an absence of many years. Borland is a maker of developer tools, and used to be considered one of the top makers of C and C++ development tools. They took a back seat to Microsoftis development tools, in part after Microsoft offered Borlandis top two executives salaries as high as one million dollars to leave Borland. One of those VPs was told he didnit even have to report to work in Redmond for 6 months as long as he quit Borland right then. This was a number of years ago, and their were some predatory practices lawsuits involved, but in the end, Microsoft had gained the lead in providing Windows development tools. Borland is currently headed by Dale Fuller, formerly the head of Appleis PowerBook division according to Matthew Rothenberg. Del Yocam, another former Apple mucky-muck, was the previous head of the company. In any event, the company released beta builds of JBuilder 5 for Mac OS X to developers at Appleis WWDC this week. JBuilder 5 is a Java 2 development environment, and Borland offers the same tool set for Windows, Linux, and now Mac OS X. Welcome back, Borland! Borlandis stock traded lower today to close at 10.06, a loss of 0.21 (-2.04%).

Apple traded down today. The stock started the day off in positive territory, but quickly followed the rest of the market and sank more than 50 cents, and it never recovered. Also following the rest of the market, AAPL traded in very light volume, almost a third of normal volume. The trading range for AAPL was 22.50 - 23.29.

Apple closed at 22.76, off by 0.44 (-1.90%), on remarkably light volume 2,834,700 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 2251.03, down 30.99 (-1.36%), on volume of 1,388,715,000 shares trading hands.

The Dow closed at 11005.37, a loss of 117.05 (-1.05%), on volume of 820,227,000 shares trading hands.

The S&P 500 closed at 1277.89, a loss of 15.28 (-1.18%).

Adobe closed at 44.70, a loss of 0.75 (-1.65%), on very light volume of 1,467,100 shares trading hands.

Akamaiis execs are continuing to unload shares in their company. The companyis executive ranks have been selling off shares in their company for many months now. AKAM closed at 10.95, a loss of 0.98 (-8.21%), on light volume of 2,690,400 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Earthlink closed at 13.45, a loss of 8 cents (-0.59%), on light volume of 973,900 shares trading hands.

IBM has sold a Linux-based mainframe computer to a "major seismic acquisition, processing, and reservoir imaging firm." The supercomputer will be used in the oil exploration business. IBM closed at 117.80, a loss of 1.80 (-1.51%), on light volume of 5,629,100 shares trading hands.

Macromediais closed at 24.64, up a penny (+0.04%), on light volume of 503,000 shares trading hands.

Motorola closed at 15.71, a loss of 0.52 (-3.20%), on very light volume of 4,807,200 shares trading hands.

Dell closed at 27, up 0.33 (+1.24%), on light volume of 20,339,500 shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 18.43, a loss of 0.41 (-2.18%),on very light volume of 863,400 shares trading hands.

Intel will finally release its Itanium 64-bit server-oriented processor. Intelis target market is Sun. In the meanwhile, AMD and Transmeta announced a licensing deal that will help Transmeta develop their own 64-bit processors, should they ever decide to do so. INTC closed at 29.10, a loss of 0.11 (-0.38%), on light volume of 29,592,600 shares trading hands.

Microsoft and AOL have reportedly reached a deal to extend their bundling agreement to Windows XP. Under the deal, AOL 6.0 will be included on the Windows XP CD. Yawn. MSFT closed at 70.91, a loss of 0.81 (-1.13%), on light volume of 26,374,600 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.