The markets moved generally higher at the opening on Wednesday, but the momentum from Tuesdayis large gains stopped soon after the first hour of morning trading. The major indexes traversed Tuesdayis closing levels a few times in late-morning to early afternoon trading before moving into decidedly negative territory by the 2: 00 p.m. hour.
After Tuesdayis market close Cisco Systems surprised the market with better than expected earnings. Ciscois earning surprise and the companyis decision to boost its share buyback program to $8 billion gave investors hope that the economy, and the tech sector in particular, are showing signs of new growth. Although consumer confidence dropped dramatically in July, government reports released Wednesday indicated that consumers continued to make big-ticket purchases during June and were willing to add to credit card debt. Relieved by the consumer data and the better than expected news from Cisco, buyers returned to the markets in the late afternoon and pushed the indexes to significant gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 182.06 to close at 8,456.15. The S&P 500 Index moved up 17.20 to end at 876.77. The NASDAQ Composite Index finished up 21.35 41.91 at 1,280.90. Apple added $.29 to close at $15.03.
In an interesting report, the Yankee Group has found widespread dissatisfaction with Windows and a desire on the part of corporate buyers for alternative operating systems, including Mac OS X. QuickTime competitor Real Networks is laying off a significant portion of its staff in order to cut costs in the face of increasing competition from Microsoft and the continuing popularity of QuickTime.
In a late-breaking announcement, Apple is giving away FireWire technology acquired in the Zayante purchase earlier this year. Ostensibly the move is designed to make FireWire more competitive with USB 2.0 and help Apple evangelize its branded technology with peripheral makers. USB 2.0 is becoming a standard on new PCs. FireWire has certain advantages over the new USB technology, but the cost of FireWire has deterred some manufacturers from adopting it.
Check out the new and vastly improved Apple Finance Boards, a moderated forum for Apple Investors and people who are interested in Appleis financial dealings!
For full quotes on all the companies mentioned in this article, we have assembled a set of stock quotes at Yahoo! for your reference. For other stories regarding Appleis stock activity, visit our updated Apple Stock Watch Special Report