Say, Where's That Post Labor Day Rally? Stocks Move Sharply Lower. Apple Hangs Tough

The euro hit an all-time low against the dollar and oil futures climbed to new post-Gulf War highs this morning, setting the stage for an anxious session. Tech stocks continued to slide as Goldman Sachs reduced its revenue growth estimates for IBM. Appleis stock managed to hold above $58 per share.

OPEC decided to increase oil production by 800,000 barrels a day, but that didnit stop oil prices from continuing to climb higher by $1.51 to $35.14 per barrel of crude.

Goldman Sachs analyst Laura Conigliaro lowered her revenue and earnings estimates on IBM based on the weak euro and its slowing effect on IBMis European sales. IBM lost 4 13/16 to 124 11/16.

The reported,

"Conigliaro expects the euro weakness, which makes IBMis products more expensive to European consumers and businesses, will lower revenue growth to 6.6% from 8.4% in the third quarter, and to 9.4% from 13.9% in the fourth quarter. Conigliaro also lowered her earnings-per-share estimates to $1.50 from $1.53 for the fourth quarter, and to $4.45 from $4.50 for 2000. She kept the stock on Goldmanis recommended list, the firmis highest rating."

Apple sank 7/16 in volatile trading to close at 58 7/16 on low volume of 3.3 million shares.

Apple is ready for the Apple Expo 2000 which begins Wednesday in Paris with Steve Jobis Keynote Address, naturally.

In the latest issue of Vanity Fair, the magazine rates Steve Jobs #6 in its "New Establishment 2000" list of Information Age movers and shakers. Steve Case, CEO of AOL, edged out Bill Gates for the number one slot this year.

The Nasdaq fell 82 points (-2.06%) to close at 3896 on volume of 1.4 billion shares. The index is off about 7% for the month, led south by the semiconductor and biotech stocks .

The Dow shed 25 points (-0.22%) to close at 11195 on volume of 902 million shares.

In spite of the weakness today, there were 208 new highs and only 43 new lows on the NYSE. The Dow Jones Utility Index hit another new high and is now up 40% year to date. Oil companies, brokerage firms and some retail stocks climbed higher, while the transportation stocks sunk lower due to the rising price of fuel.

The S&P 500 dropped 5.24 points (-0.35%) to close at 1489.26.

In Apple related businesses: Earthlink gained 1/8 to 11 1/2. Motorola lost 7/8 to 33 1/8. Akamai declined 4 13/16 to 62 11/16 as investors braced for Akamaiis IPO stock lock up date to pass later this week.

Adobe fell 6 5/8 to 127 1/4. The software company announced that it will broadcast its third fiscal 2000 analyst conference call live over its website on Thursday at 2 pm Pacific Time.

Appleis competitors: Gateway was higher by 0.33 to 62.91. Compaq gave back 1/4 to 32 dollars.

Toshiba signed a 3-year, $5 billion deal to supply Dell with memory and display products. Reuters said, "Dell and Irvine, Calif.-based Toshiba America, a unit of Japanis Toshiba Corp. , intend to add other products to their alliance, such as batteries and colour display tubes." Dell lost 9/16 to 38 5/16.

Hewlett-Packard is in talks to buy the consulting arm of accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers for about $18 billion in cash and stock in an effort to move "beyond the box". A Dataquest analyst was quoted by Reuters as commenting, "The computer industry is recognizing that the service business is where the margins are more favorable. It is not a commodity product business." Hewlett Packard lost 7 dollars to 114.

Orlando Ayala, Microsoftis group vice president for sales, marketing and services, told Reuters in an interview , "The (PC) industry, (and) Microsoft will be able to get back to the 30 percent growth because we are just renewing ourselves ... Microsoft is doing it, but in general this big wave is going to lift all boats and thatis what is exciting." The article points out that the recent Microsoftis growth rate has been 15% year over year. Shares of Microsoft slid 1/2 to 68 13/16.

Intel and a group of telecoms operators, computer makers and mobile phone manufacturers are forming a mobile Web alliance called, "Mobile Data Initiative Next Generation", in order to simplify wireless Internet and Intranet access. Intel fell 11/16 to 64 11/16.

In economic news: Look for Augustis Producer Price Index on Thursday and the Consumer Price Index on Friday, along with industrial production and capacity utilization data.

The Mac Observer Stock Watch Virtual Portfolio is in retreat. Lucent (LU) sunk to a new 52-week low in the weak telecom sector.

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.