Markets Are Tense, Techs & AAPL Close Lower

Get used to the phrase "a loss of" when reading todayis Apple Stock Watch. Tech stocks trended lower throughout the day and both the Dow and the Nasdaq posted triple digit losses. Continuing fears of an economic slow down, layoffs, and ongoing poor earnings reports and warnings all weighed down the markets. The January employment report did come in strong, but many of the monthis gains came from construction jobs that may have been heavily influenced by bad weather (and are thus not sustainable). While losses piled up, volume was light in the major indexes. Wall Street seems mixed on whether or not the Fed will cut interest rates ahead of the next scheduled Fed meeting in March.

Microsoft announced it would no longer be offering its trademarked US$400 rebate offers for signing up for MSN when purchasing a new computer. That immediately set off rumors of a buyout of Earthlink by MSN and ELNK became the only stock we track that closed higher. More information below.

Apple has been slowly losing ground during the last three trading sessions, but volume has been relatively light, and has followed the majority trend in tech. Despite these losses, AAPL ended the week in positive territory after having opened at 19 9/16 Monday morning. Todayis close was 20 5/8. As one poster to the boards at Yahoo! said, "Any day over 13 is a good day."

Apple closed lower 20 5/8, a loss of 1/2 (-2.37%), on volume of 7,630,800 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed lower at 2660.50, off by 122.29 (-4.39%).

The Dow dropped as well, closing at 10864.10, down 119.53 (-1.09%).

The S&P 500 made it a family affair by closing at 1349.34, down 24.13 (-1.76%).

Akamai closed at 25 3/4, a loss of 1 7/8 (-6.79%) on volume of 2,190,900 shares trading hands. Apple is a major shareholder of Akamai.

Adobe gave back yesterdayis gains and then some. The stock closed at 43 9/16, a loss of 1 7/8 (-4.13%) on volume of 5,402,000 shares trading hands.

IBM closed at 110.27, a loss of 3.78 (-3.31%) on light volume of 5,428,300 shares trading hands.

Motorola dropped to close at 21.33, a loss of 0.73 (-3.31%) on very light volume of 7,077,600 shares trading hands.

Earthlink is hot on the rumor circuit right now with the rumor being that Microsoft (MSN) is going to buy Earthlink in a move to compete with AOL/Time Warner. That news sent the stock higher and is the only stock we track that closed in positive territory ELNK closed at 8 31/32, a gain of 15/16 (+11.67%) on strong volume of 1,459,200 shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 19.71, a loss of 1.02 (-4.92%) on volume of 3,674,500 shares trading hands.

Dell won a lawsuit against the holder of by invoking the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, a lawsuit that is usually used by large entertainment conglomerates to close down fan sites (what is up with that anyway?). sold and marketed computer systems. Dell also announced they would be replacing some motherboards on some of their business machines. The stock closed at 25 3/16, a loss of 3/4 (-2.89%) on strong volume of 40,996,900 shares trading hands.

Hewlett Packard closed at 35.75, a loss of 1.11 (-3.01%) on very light volume of 4,584,500 shares trading hands.

Intel closed lower at 35 11/16, a loss of 2 1/8 (-5.62%) on volume of 47,096,200 shares trading hands.

Microsoft is moving ahead with the appeal of their antitrust judgement. New Attorney General has pledged to be "fair," whatever that means. It probably means that Microsoft will not find stiff opposition from the new DoJ, but that is strictly our opinion. Microsoft closed at 60 13/16, a loss of 1 9/16 (-2.51%) on volume of 35,548,000 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.