Markets Push Higher, Leaving Apple Behind Again

Yesterdayis political maneuvering that saw the balance of power in the Senate shift from the Republicans to the Democrats when Senator James Jeffords of Vermont defected from the Republican Party to become an independent, continued to haunt the markets in morning trading. The markets sold off on the news yesterday, and that sell off was helped along this morning when April new home starts dropped by an unexpected 9.5%. From to a CBS Marketwatch report:

"The news came too late for it to have any effect on the tax bill -- which would have been the biggest issue for the market. Litigation stocks -- like Microsoft and the tobacco companies -- as well as drug issues and stocks in the energy patch, would be the most negatively impacted. But down the road, it wonit produce much of a change," remarked Art Hogan, chief strategist at Jefferies & Co.

"From a political standpoint this will produce gridlock and certain sectors, like the pharmaceuticals, may be hurt because of [the implications] on President Bushis ability to push his plans through," Cardillo opined.

Whatever the case, investors shrugged off all this negativity and started pushing stocks, tech stocks in particular, higher. Volume was light in both the Dow and the Nasdaq, but with the political intrigue and the upset from the housing numbers, that was to be expected.

The inventor of Mooreis Law, Gordon Moore, retired from Intelis board today. Mr. Moore theorized in what became known as Mooreis Law that processor speeds would double every 18 months, something that has proven to be correct, at least in the halls of Intel (weire looking at you Motorola), for the past 30 or so years. Mr. Moore cofounded Intel and has had a big role in the development of the semiconductor industry. Mr. Moore is 72, Intelis unofficial retirement age for its Board. Intel closed higher by 41 cents.

Microsoft has announced a new agreement with Lockheed Martin for that company to help Microsoft dupe the US government into wasting more tax-payer money on Windows. Great. From the Wall Street Journal:

"The alliance enables government agencies to draw on the combined expertise of the foremost federal systems integrator and the world leader in business software and Internet connectivity," Robert B. Coutts, executive vice president of Lockheed Martinis Systems Integration business, said in a written statement issued by the two companies.

"As our customers increasingly seek commercial off-the-shelf technologies for their complex systems requirements, this alliance enables Microsoft and Lockheed Martin to offer technically proven, cost-effective solutions to U.S. military and civil government agencies," Microsoft executive Pete Hayes added.

Thatis just outstanding.

Iomega has been getting all kinds of good press for its Peerless product line, a storage device designed to be usable with PCs, Macs, and any other kind of electronic equipment that can use storage. Itis been a while since Iomega got much good press at all, and the company has been working very hard to turn themselves into more than a purveyor of Zip discs. Peerless represents a major cornerstone of that transformation.

Apple had another downer day of trading, but managed to shave those losses in the last hour or so of trading. AAPL started off just over yesterdayis closing mark, but quickly took a nose dive into negative territory. The stock traded in the red for the rest of the day until a last minute uptick brought the stock briefly over the line and to a close of 3 cents lower. Volume for AAPL was light, and the dayis range was 22.62 - 23.30.

Apple closed at 23.20, down 3 cents (-0.13%), on very light volume of 4,826,900 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 2282.02, up 38.54 (+1.72%), on volume of 1,865,792,000 shares trading hands.

The Dow closed at 11122.42, up 16.91 (+0.15%), on volume of 1,103,158,000 shares trading hands.

The S&P 500 closed at 1293.17, up 4.12 (+0.32%).

Adobe closed at 45.45, a gain of 0.98 (+2.20%), on very light volume of 2,647,300 shares trading hands.

Akamai closed at 11.93, a gain of 0.67 (+5.95%), on volume of 3,275,800 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Earthlink is partly the subject of an excellent piece on the ISP industry from BusinessWeek. ELNK closed at 13.53, a loss of 0.57 (-4.04%), on light volume of 1,969,100 shares trading hands.

IBM and i2 have announced a partnership to develop and promote B2B Web apps for the enterprise market. IBM also announced an outsourcing deal with NTL worth about US$2 billion. IBM closed at 119.60, up 2.20 (+1.87%), on light volume of 7,660,600 shares trading hands.

Macromediais closed at 24.63, a gain of 1.85 (+8.12%), on volume of 1,138,300 shares trading hands.

Motorola and Sony has announced that Motorolais Dragonball processors will support Sonyis Memory Sticks. The Dragonball is a processor designed for handhelds and other small appliances. This should broaden the market for Sonyis Memory Stick. MOT closed at 16.23, up 8 cents (+0.50%), on light volume of 6,411,000 shares trading hands.

Dell has stepped up the pace in the price war in the PC market. DELL closed at 26.67, a loss of 0.14 (-0.52%), on light volume of 30,122,000 shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 18.84, up 9 cents (+0.48%), on very light volume 724,300 shares trading hands.

Intel closed at 29.21, up 0.41 (+1.42%), on light volume of 47,079,200 shares trading hands.

Microsoft closed at 71.72, up 2.02 (+2.90%), on light volume of 40,280,800 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. You can also check out our Apple Financial Boards, a new moderated forum for Apple Investors and people who are interested in Appleis financial dealings.