HP/Gateway Warn, AAPL Drops

Gateway and Hewlett-Packard both issued profit warnings today as weak consumer spending on technology continues to plague computer manufacturers. The result for Apple and the rest of the PC sector was lower stocks. Apple gave back half of yesterdayis gains. The Dow also churned out some weak results as tech concerns and profit warnings wreaked their havoc.

The Mac Observer would like to take a moment to offer tribute to Hewlett-Packard cofounder William Hewlett. Mr. Hewlett died today at the age of 87. Thanks for everything you did for the world of technology, sir.

Apple continues to see mainstream press analysis of this weekis MACWORLD show, including some sloppy coverage at Forbes. Lisa DiCarlo discussed Steve Jobs and Appleis upcoming 1st quarter loss, which will be the first to be reported by Apple since Mr. Jobs returned on 1997. According to Forbes:

Itill be difficult. The cofounder unleashed faster PowerMacs with recordable CD and DVD drives as well as a new Titanium PowerBook at this weekis biannual MACWORLD Expo in San Francisco. Yawn.

Jobs also has another big hurdle. Macintosh operating system X, the software to spark sales of new products, has been pushed back to March. But it wonit be pre-installed on computers until June, when new Mac applications are expected to be available.

Note to the Forbes fact checkers: MACWORLD Expo is in July, not June, and thatis when OS X will be shipping on new Apple hardware. 2nd note to Forbes: Peopleis reaction to the PowerBook G4 (Titanium) has been anything but "Yawn." Customer reaction and the press have all made glowing reports on the new PowerBook.

Apple suffered the same fate as the rest of the PC sector shares trading hands. The stock closed at 17 3/16, a loss of 13/16 (-4.51%) on average volume of 7,549,400 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed lower at 2626.40, a loss of 14.17 (-0.54%).

The Dow dropped today to close at 10525.38, down 84.17 (-0.79%).

The S&P 500 also dropped to close at 1318.55, down 8.27 (-0.62%).

Akamai got a nice boost today on, well, on no news. The stock closed sharply higher at 27 7/16, a gain of 2 15/16 (+11.99%) on strong volume of 5,090,200 shares trading hands.

Adobe also benefitted from not making boxes to close higher. The stock closed at 50 7/16, a gain of 2 3/8 (+4.94%), on volume of 5,324,400 shares trading hands.

IBM closed at 93 13/16, a gain of 1/8 (+0.13%) on volume of 6,418,100 shares trading hands.

Motorola went nowhere fast to close unchanged. The stock closed at 22 1/8, unchanged, on volume of 12,797,700 shares trading hands.

Earthlink had its first down day after 4 straight positive session to close at 7 15/16, a slight loss of 1/32 (-0.39%), on volume of 2,321,600 shares trading hands.

Gateway issued their 1st quarter results a week ahead of schedule and guided expectations for the rest of the year down. The company is also suffering from weakened consumer spending. According to CBS Marketwatch:

Gateway, in an earnings announcement released one week ahead of schedule, reported fourth-quarter profit of $37.6 million, or 12 cents a share, excluding charges, vs. $126 million, or 38 cents, in the comparable quarter a year ago.

The stock closed at 21.10, a loss of 1.80 (-7.86%) on volume of 6,732,700 shares trading hands.

Dell closed at 22 1/8, down 11/16 (-3.01%) on volume of 48,478,100 shares trading hands.

Hewlett Packard issued a profit warning for its 1st quarter related to weakened consumer spending. From CBS Marketwatch:

"December was like somebody turned the lights out," said Chief Executive Carly Fiorina. "We are preparing for toughening economic conditions ... we think caution is appropriate here."

The companyis stock closed at 30 11/16, a loss of -1 11/16 (-5.21%) on volume three times normal with 21,371,300 shares trading hands.

Intel closed lower at 32 1/8, down 1 1/4 (-3.75%) on volume of 51,183,400 shares trading hands.

Microsoft joined those on the negative side and closed at 53 1/2, down 1 1/2 (-2.73%), on volume of 36,726,000 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.