Intel Downgrade Sinks the Nasdaq

Profit taking in the computer hardware stocks after a great August combined with a major downgrade for Intel to slam the Nasdaq, but the Dow continued higher. US Bancorp Piper Jaffray thinks sequential PC sales could be half of what Wall Street expects for the second half of the year, at about 6%. The PC vendors dropped like a rock, but little Apple held up better than most since we are talking Wintel PCs sales, not Mac sales.

Analyst Ashok Kumar downgraded Intel, to "buy" from "strong buy," sending Intel shares tumbling 4 11/16 to 69 1/4. Kumar is betting on "slower-than-expected sales for virtually every PC manufacturer in the second half."

A CNET article reported, "With Intel and PC manufacturers planning on strong demand, the unexpected downfall in growth could lead to a supply glut and price war among computer makers." Sounds like just the sort of problems that could play right into Appleis hand.

Apple sank a dollar or 1.58% in the last 30 minutes of the day to close at 62 7/16 on volume of 5.2 million shares. Although AAPL lost some momentum today, compared to other PC stocks Apple appears to be very strongly position to move higher, even if a pull back is in the cards for this week.

A ZD Net article reports anecdotal evidence that the G4 Cube is selling well at retailers.

The Nasdaq fell 91 points (-2.15%) to close at 4143 on volume of 1.6 billion shares. Biotech stocks fell over 5.6% largely because of Presidential campaign rhetoric from George W. Bush.

The Dow climbed 21 points (0.19%) to close at 11260 on volume of 840 million shares. Crude oil hit a 10-year high in London just days before an important OPEC meeting.

The S&P 500 dropped 13.69 points (-0.90%) to close at 1507.08.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai lost 4 5/16 to 67 7/8. Adobe fell 2 dollars to 133 5/16. Motorola shed 1/2 to 35 1/8.

Earthlink climbed 13/16 to 12 1/16. The Associated Press reported, "Federal antitrust attorneys are preparing to block the proposed merger of America Online and Time Warner unless the companies agree to let competing services use their high-speed cable lines."

IBM gave back 1 13/16 to 131 13/16. Reuters reported, that IBM, Microsoft and Ariba (ARBA) said, "they have teamed up to create a directory which aims to become the standard way for businesses to find and connect with partners on the Web."

Appleis competitors: Dell lost 2 1/16 to 41 dollars. Gateway is down by 4 .78 to 63.90. Compaq gave back 1 1/16 to 32 9/16. Shares of Hewlett Packard lost 2 1/2 to 122 1/2.

Microsoft shares traded flat at 70 3/16. The Wall Street Journal reported:

"Seeking to recapture lost ground in the digital-television market, Microsoft Corp. is expected to announce later this week that the next version of its Windows operating system (Whistler) will also power digital TV sets...Microsoft hopes to entice broadcasters to use its digital-TVtechnology by offering consumers the opportunity to use a single device to power their television sets and PCs. This would eliminate the need for a separate set-top box to decode digital television signals sent by broadcasters who use Microsoft technology."

The Mac Observer Stock Watch Virtual Portfolio was lower across the board.

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.