Profit Taking Hits the Dow, the Nasdaq and Apple Drift

The Dowis rally took a break after ten positive sessions out of the last eleven, giving the Nasdaqis tech stocks a chance to reassert some leadership, but they refused to budge. Appleis stock drifted slightly lower as did most tech stocks today.

Apple sank 3/8 to close at 46 11/16 on volume of 2 million shares.

Apple appointed Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson to its board of directors bringing Appleis total number of directors to seven and filling the seat left open by Edgar Woolard Jr. who stepped down earlier this year. Steve Jobs said, "Art is a highly respected CEO and leads one of the most important and successful science-based companies of our time. We look forward to his insight and counsel as a member of Appleis board."

Apple has no official Chairman of the Board as most corporate board of directors do, but the role is unofficial filled by Steve Jobs.

The Nasdaq climbed 1 point to closed at 3851 on volume of 1.3 billion shares. Semiconductor stocks continued their bounce off recent lows for a third day after a number of analysts said the sector was over sold. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter said that growth in the semiconductor sector should average about 40% this year and 30% next year.

The Internet business-to-consumer stocks still have not found a bottom as the number of 52-week lows among Internet stocks continues to climb.

The Dow fell 109 points (0.98%) to close at 11067 on volume of 895 million shares.

Retail stocks were weak as investors realized that earnings comparison for this autumnis sales with the super strong sales of Q4 1999 could be discouraging.

Brent Crude, oil use in Europe, hit a ten-year high price today. While crude oil prices (CLVo) in the US traded lower today to $30.90 per barrel, Energy analysts are debating just how much supply will be available for the coming winter. The next OPEC meeting that could effect fuel supplies is on September 10th.

The S&P 500 dropped 7.13 points (-0.48%) to close at 1484.43.

In Apple related businesses: Akamai climbed 3 11/16 to 75 1/16. Adobe fell 1 1/2 to 120 1/8. Earthlink fell 3/16 to 9 13/16, for a second day of new 52-week lows.

Motorola rose 1/4 to 36 dollars. IBM slid 1 1/4 to 122 dollars. Redhat (RHAT) announced a deal with IBM to package Red Hatis Linux system with IBM computers. Motorola also made a deal with Red Hat to use its software for telecom applications. The LinuxWorld Conference and Expo continues through out this week in San Jose and is spawning a series of Linux related announcements.

Appleis competitors: Dell gained 1 3/8 to 38 1/16. Gateway lost 1/8 to 61 15/16. Hewlett Packard lost 4 1/2 to 110 dollars

Intel climbed 11/16 to 67 7/8. The Sony Corporation announced yesterday a break from their sole reliance on Intel Pentiums for its PCs, the consumer appliance giant selected Transmetais Crusoe chip and AMD chips for future Vaio C1 notebook computers. IBM is the only other PC manufacturer to adopt Transmetais Crusoe for eventual use in its Think-pad laptop PC.

Compaq slipped 7/16 to 31 15/16. "Compaq Computer expanded its popular iPaq brand today, introducing new Internet access devices, including the first Web companion device for Microsoftis MSN Internet service", according to CNET News.

Shares of Microsoft fell 9/16 to 71 5/8. The Justice Department asked the Supreme Court to take on the Microsoft antitrust suit directly, saying the case is of extreme importance to the US economy. Microsoft is hoping to have their case heard by a lower court which has ruled favorably for the company in the past.

The news out of Sun microsystemsi (SUNW) mid-quarter analysts meeting reported strong growth exceeding the companyis expectations for the quarter. Sun hit a new 52-week high of 117 3/8 per share.

In economic news: Industrial production at US factories, utilities, and mines rose 0.4% in July, twice Juneis rate and contradicting other evidence of a slowing economy. Technology equipment and parts production was 50% higher than last year accounted for much of the rise.

Yesterday, the Commerce Department reported business inventories rose 0.9% in June, thatis bigger than the 0.6% increase anticipated by economists. The increase in inventories largely took place in the retail sector where business is struggling to keep pace with robust sales. Rising business sales allowed the inventory-to-sales ratio to remain unchanged in June with 1.32 months left of inventory held at Juneis sale price.

Wednesdayis consumer price index (CPI) release is expected to confirm the weak inflation data reported early this month. Tomorrowis July housing starts and building permits could effect the markets more than the CPI, if they confirm the strong industrial production numbers of today.

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 Apple Stock Watch Special Report.