The markets turned in a mixed performance on Wednesday as traders positioned themselves for the quarterly reporting season and continued looking for overall market trends for the summer months.
At the close on Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 9,156.21, off 66.88. The S&P 500 Index finished at 1,002.21, down 5.63. The NASDAQ Composite Index moved higher by 1.00 to close at 1,747.46.
Apple reached new 52-week highs on Monday and Tuesday before consolidating just below the US$20.00 per share marker in Wednesday trading. At the close of trading on Wednesday, Apple stood at US$19.89, off US$.51 on volume of just under 3.8 million shares.
Since the introduction of the iTunes Music Store on April 28, 2003, AAPL has advanced from US$13.35 per share to todayis closing price of US$19.89. This advance represents roughly a fifty percent increase in Appleis share price and an increase in Appleis market cap of about US$2.4 billion. Due to the fifty percent increase in Appleis share price, AAPL has now outpaced the major market indexes for year-to-date gains.
Adobe, the maker of Photoshop and other popular design and content creation applications, announced earlier this week that its new Premiere Pro digital editing application would not have a Macintosh version. Adobe finished Wednesday trading at US$34.79.
A couple of years back, the release of Appleis Final Cut Pro infuriated executives at Adobe because it represented a commercial alternative to Adobeis Premiere product. Due to the success of FCP among Mac users, Adobe has determined the development and carrying costs of a Premiere Pro version for the Mac does not have an economic justification. Premiere Pro represents a substantial re-write of Adobeis long-standing Premiere product.
On Wednesday Akamai Technologies, the company that provides Internet content delivery services for Apple and the iTunes Music Store, closed at US$5.30. Akamai has seen its share price jump from US$2.45 on April 25, 2003 to a 52-week high of US$5.93 per share set on June 20, 2003. This means that Akamai has seen its share price more than double since the iTMS opened its digital doors.
Dell Computer scored a new 52-week high in Wednesday trading, hitting US$34.02 per share in intra-day activity. Despite a continuing price war with HP in the consumer PC market, Dell continues to show strength as the markets anticipate a modest overall rise in 2003 PC shipments. Traders also expect Dell to deliver strong earnings results due to a reduction in general and administrative expenses relative to revenue. Dell ended at US$33.17, down US$.62 on the day.
Finding Nemo, Pixaris most recent commercial motion picture release has now topped US$275 million in box office receipts. The movie remained in the top tier of box office activity this past weekend, garnering more than US$11 million in box office revenue and holding its own against other summer blockbuster films.
The spectacular success of Pixaris latest movie continues to push the companyis stock to new all-time highs. In Wednesday trading Pixar set a new high of US$68.19 before settling at US$67.50 for the day. Pixar, long the favorite of short sellers, has shown surprising strength in its share price following Finding Nemois release. Traditionally, Pixaris share price has risen in the lead up to the box office openings of its films, only to fall from favor in the weeks following each pictureis debut.