Here Comes the Fed! Apple's Stock Climbs Slightly

Wall Street psyched itself out today ahead of tomorrowis Fed meeting which everyone believes wonit effect interest rates, but you can never be too careful. After all, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan might take the opportunity to lecture on the dangers of inflation and that could be taken as a "tightening bias" disappointing the stock markets. Appleis stock climbed higher.

The stock markets are really dull this time of year and will remain so until September when everyone returns from vacation. Tomorrow when the Fed announces its interest rate decision at 2:15 EDT there could be some unusual volatility due to the low summer volume combined with large hedge fund trades on the news.

Appleis stock climbed 1/2 to close at 50 1/2 on volume of 2.4 million shares.

An ON24 audio news report in collaboration with predicted that Apple will trend to $75 per share later this year, because while Apple is growing at a rate comparable to its PC peers, Appleis P/E of 27 is about half the industry average of 56. The report also provides an overview of Appleis financial news since MACWORLD in July.

The Nasdaq climbed higher for the sixth consecutive day by 22 points (0.58%) to close at 3953 on volume of 1.2 billion shares.

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index ($SOX) broke its six-day winning streak to give back all of Fridayis gains.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaqis 200-day moving average is at 3950, just 3 points below todayis closing price. The big question is: will the index break out above its 200-DMA if the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) leaves rates alone tomorrow or will the "sell on the news" malaise thatis haunted the market all summer continue?

The Dow climbed 33 points (0.30%) to close at 11079 on volume of 729 million shares.

The Wall Street Journal warned, "In its monthly report, the Centre for Global Energy Studies said crude-oil prices will remain high for the rest of the year, with Brent [crude oil] averaging around $31 a barrel during the fourth quarter. The group said the low level of product stocks would keep the market volatile."

The S&P 500 climbed 7.76 points (0.52%) to close at 1499.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai slid 2 15/16 to 76 dollars. Adobe fell 2 11/16 to 119 7/8. Earthlink rose 1/2 to 10 3/16.

IBM climbed a buck to 121 7/16 after announcing an e-business alliance with MicroStrategy (MSTR), setting off a short squeeze in MicroStrategyis stock pushing it up over 8 dollars to 29 9/16.

Motorola became the largest foreign investor in China when a "local Chinese government on Monday approved a $1.9 billion investment" by the company, more than doubling Motorolais total investment in China to $3.4 billion. The money will go towards expanding a Motorola semiconductor plant into the "largest of its kind in the world and the most advanced in China," according to an AP report. MOT lost 7/16 to 35 13/16.

Appleis competitors: Dell traded flat at 38 3/4. Shares of Microsoft slipped 3/8 to 70 5/8. Hewlett Packard lost 3/4 to 111 1/4.

Gatewayis stock had a poor day after a Motley Fool analysis concluded that the company is "still a notch below Dell". Shares of GTW were lower by 1 1/8 to 62 1/4.

Dan Niles of Lehman Brothers appeared on CNBC to say he feels that next weekis Intel Developer Forum is going to inspire bullishness among investors and he predicted the Pentium 4 will be a best selling product, making 2001 an even stronger year for Intel than 2000. Intel climbed 1 1/2 to 72 1/16 in the weak semiconductor sector. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) lost 1 7/8 to 68 3/4.

In economic news: Tomorrow the markets will be on Fed watch. On Thursday look for Julyis Durable Goods Orders which are expected to decline substantial from Juneis 9.7% increase to -0.5%, indicating weakening consumer demand. Friday expect the Gross Domestic Product revision for the second quarter, itis expected to give back a bit to 5.1% from 5.2%.

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 Apple Stock Watch Special Report.