Rally Reverses, Apple Drops 31 Cents

If you are going to read through the stock prices below get used to the words "down" and "light volume." Quick as you can say "Economic Indicators" three times fast, concern about the economy helped put an end to yesterdayis upstart rally. From a Reuters report:

"You are going to have a very difficult summer for the stock market," said Stanley Nabi, managing director at Credit Suisse Asset Management, which oversees $110 billion. "I think we have seen the lows in the market early this year, but I do not believe there is enough fuel in the tank to take us much higher until there is some evidence we are approaching a trough. That evidence is lacking right now."

July unemployment came in at 4.5%, which beat the expected 4.6%, but the data also showed that manufacturing jobs are continuing to disappear faster than you can say "oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge." [Editoris Note: We apologize for the repeated "quick as you can say" jokes, but we canit help ourselves.] The result was a slow trading day and losses across the board. All of the stocks we track in the Stock Watch ended the day in the red.

Industry News

TheStreet.com has a dandy piece titled "The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week" that we have to recommend. All five of the items are interesting, and four of them are pretty entertaining. The fifth is about our favorite company to complain about. No, not Apple, but rather Microsoft. From the piece:

Microsoft is finally starting to emerge from the antitrust cloud that has swirled around it for the past few years. Now itis jumping right back into the behavior that got the bully of the software sandbox into trouble in the first place.

This week, Microsoft said that if computer makers want to put icons from Redmondis rivals on the desktops of PCs using Microsoftis Windows operating system, they will have to include an icon for Microsoftis own MSN Internet service as well. Not only is the company giving the world another reason to hate it, it also is fueling talk about a government request for an injunction that would delay the release of its next-generation operating system, Windows XP, set for Oct. 25.

On its face, this qualifies as a bonehead play. However, there may be a method to the badness: Microsoft could be using the icon as a way to get leverage in its settlement talks with the government. Now that itis on the table, the company can back away from its icon at any time, gaining a conciliatory stance in the case. On the other hand, if the icon issue never incited controversy, Microsoft would have MSN on the desktop. Either outcome helps the company.

Speaking of Microsoft, Robert X. Cringely has a conspiracy theory to beat all conspiracy theories. He suggests that Microsoft is deliberately making its products insecure in order to undermine Internet security enough to get its own proprietary communications protocol into the market. Itis a very good piece. As we have suggested before, if Microsoft is actually doing these sorts of things, they may actually get enough people ticked off to negatively impact its sales, and that would not be a good thing for the companyis stock.

Apple Industry News

AAPLis performance today was almost a mirror image of yesterdayis action. The stock spent the entire day in Negativeland after losing 75 cents in the first hour and 10 minutes of trading. A slow gentle rally though out the rest of the trading session narrowed the loss to 31 cents. Volume was very light and the dayis trading range was 19.01 - 19.90.

Apple closed at 19.51, down 0.31 (-1.56%), on very light volume of 3,322,300 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 2066.33, down 21.05 (-1.01%), on volume of 1,250,226,000 trading hands.

The Dow closed at 10512.78, down 38.40 (-0.36%), on volume of 939,305,000 trading hands.

The S&P 500 closed at 1214.35, down 6.40 (-0.52% ).

Adobe closed at 37.94, down 0.61 (-1.58%), on light volume of 2,926,600 shares trading hands.

Akamai closed at 7.80, down 0.33 (-4.06%), on light volume of 497,700 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Earthlink closed at 15, down 0.24 (-1.57%), on light volume of 1,939,500 shares trading hands.

IBM closed at 108.09, down 0.71 (-0.65%), on very light volume of 3,704,900 shares trading hands.

Macromedia closed at 17.81, down 0.26 (-1.44%), on light volume of 479,800 shares trading hands.

Motorola closed at 18.63, down 0.77 (-3.97%), on light volume of 8,407,300 shares trading hands. Motorola manufactures the processors used in Appleis Macintosh line.

Dell closed at 28.07, down 0.36 (-1.27%), on light volume of 18,528,600 shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 11.19, down 2 cents (-0.18%), on light volume of 1,306,600 shares trading hands.

Intel closed at 31.68, down 0.41 (-1.28%), on light volume of 35,670,900 shares trading hands.

Microsoft closed at 66.89, down 0.56 (-0.83%), on light volume of 21,628,300 shares trading hands.

<!--#include virtual="/includes/newsite/series/stockwatch.shtml"-->