NYSE Software Glitch Halts Trading, Apple Closes Lower

| Apple Stock Watch

The big news today was that the New York Stock Exchange halted trading after suffering a software glitch. The NYSE updated their trading software overnight, and a problem cropped up after trading began this morning. Trading was halted at 10:15 AM in an attempt to make sure that all investors, especially retail investors, had equal access to trading. From a Reuters report:

"When we donit believe ... everyone can arrive at the marketplace with their orders to buy and sell, we have a responsibility to the public to stop trading," Grasso said.

Trading resumed after approximately one hour and twenty minutes of inactivity. Trading at other exchanges that involved stocks on the NYSE was also halted. Once the trading opened up again, stocks moved lower, helped in part by a warning from Juniper Networks, which said it would be taking a charge of US$45 million, lay off 8-9% of its work force, and miss targets. This is in sharp contrast to the positive outlook from the semiconductor industry and Intel, and helped reignite worries about corporate profits.

All three major indexes moved lower on light volume. Volume was affected in part by the missing hour of trading, but the Nasdaq also saw light volume as many investors rediscovered nervousness. From a Reuters report:

"Just because Intel says iWe met our lowered numbers and that maybe weive seen the worst,i I donit think that answers all the problems we have out there," said Ned Collins, executive vice president at Daiwa Securities America.

Two ISPs made headlines today when they announced a merger. NetZero and Juno will merge in a deal valued at a whopping US$70 million, and the new company will be called United Online. The combined company will have some 7 million users, but only 1 million of them pay. So far, analysts are saying that the biggest value the merger will offer the two companies is the to make them more attractive for a buyout further down the road. From a Reuters report:

"Although the companies could achieve scale and potentially realize numerous operating synergies, we maintain our hold rating in light of declining subscriber and revenue growth and continuing losses"i said Jefferies & Co. analyst Fred Moran. "However, we believe that if the company successfully improves operating efficiencies, United Online may be viewed as a more attractive potential takeover target," he added.

Apple started off the day 50 cents, moving higher throughout the afternoon to close just off the dayis high. AAPL traded in a range of 20.71 - 21.65. Volume was light for the stock, but stronger than has been the wont during the last three weeks with more than 6 million shares trading hands.

Apple closed at 21.32, off by 0.34 (-1.57%), on light volume of 6,118,300 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 2215.10, down 48.90 (-2.16%), on volume of 1,438,577,000 shares trading hands.

The Dow closed at 10977.00, a loss of 113.74 (-1.03%), on volume of 723,533,000 shares trading hands.

The S&P 500 closed at 1264.96, down 12.00 (-0.94%).

Adobe closed at 42.03, down 0.82 (-1.91%), on light volume of 1,376,100 shares trading hands.

Akamai closed at 9.25, a loss of 0.39 (-4.05%), on very light volume of 963,100 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Earthlink is not going to be challenged by United Online (see above) according to some analysts. ELNK closed at 14.43, up 6 cents (+0.42%), on very light volume of 538,500 shares trading hands.

IBM is still getting play from their announcement of a breakthrough in boosting processor speeds. IBM closed at 116.10, down 1.15 (-0.98%), on very light volume of 3,099,100 shares trading hands.

Macromedia is set to offer a technology demonstration at tonightis NBA finals. MACR closed at 24.65, a loss of 0.27 (-1.08%), on light volume of 920,400 shares trading hands.

Motorola closed at 15.20, a loss of 0.35 (-2.25%), on light volume of 5,241,600 shares trading hands.

Dell is likely to warn for the current quarter according to this Forbes article. DELL closed at 25.69, up 8 cents (+0.31%), on light volume of 23,489,500 shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 16.59, up 9 cents (+0.55%), on light volume of 1,197,300 shares trading hands.

Intel closed at 30.67, down 0.47 (-1.51%), on strong volume of 68,338,496 shares trading hands.

Microsoft is losing Paul Gross, an exec that oversaw the development of wireless technology at the software giant. There is also a new worm that is taking advantage of security holes in Microsoftis IIS server. MSFT closed at 73.19, down 0.49 (-0.67%), on light volume of 25,933,700 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.

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