Stocks Continue Downward Spin, Apple Rises 2.2% [Updated]

The Nasdaq went back and forth today, pulled in warring tidal forces of bargain hunting and economic worries. Yesterdayis 50 basis point cut in interest rates from the Fed was not enough to make investors think it would really help the economy. At 2:00 PM EST, the Nasdaq saw a wave of selling similar to yesterdayis sell off, and the index closed on the dayis lows. The Nasdaq hit another 28 month low. The Dow, on the other hand, started off in negative territory and kept on truckini. The Dow ended the day at a two year low.

Inflation worries helped contribute to the down day as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) came in higher than expected. In yesterdayis announcement from the Fed, there was no mention of inflation, something investors are concerned about since inflation concerns would keep the Fed from lowering rates as aggressively as they might otherwise do. According to a Reuters report:

Stocks sank on Wednesday, pushing the blue-chip Dow to its lowest close since March 1999, after a surprise uptick in inflation damped hopes for a near-term interest-rate cut to kick-start the economy.

The strength of Februaryis Consumer Price Index, the governmentis main inflation gauge, chilled Wall Streetis mood. Boosted by rising costs for clothing, medical care and airline tickets, the CPI rose a higher-than-expected 0.3 percent in February, the Labor Department said. The "core" CPI, which strips out volatile food and energy costs, also rose 0.3 percent.

The CPI report was considered to be somewhat inflated itself due to higher apparel costs related to the temporary effect of introducing new spring lines.

Most of the stocks we track actually ended the day in the black. Apple traded higher as news of Mac OS Xis impending arrival begins to have a positive effect on some traders. The company also announced that iTunes and iMovie2 would get OS X versions on the 24th, the day that OS X ships. We have a slew of Mac OS X related stories at The Mac Observer.

Apple dipped 15 minutes into the opening session, but climbed its way back up and stayed in positive territory for the rest of the day. Volume was moderately light. AAPL traded in a range of 19 3/8 - 20 7/8 and continues to trade near its 50 day moving average.

Apple closed at 20 1/8, a gain of 7/16 (+2.22%), on light volume of 6,636,900 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 1830.23, down 27.21 (-1.46%), on volume of 2,110,653,000 shares trading hands.

The Dow closed at 9487.00, a loss of 233.76 (-2.40%), on volume of 1,314,410,000 shares trading hands.

The S&P 500 closed at 1122.14, a loss of 20.48 (-1.79%).

Akamai continued its ever downward progression to close at 8 11/32, a loss of 17/32 (-5.99%), on volume of 2,028,900 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Adobe took a loss to close at 32 9/16, a loss of 1/4 (-0.76%), on volume of 5,790,000 shares trading hands.

IBM closed higher at 89.08, up 0.78 (+0.88%), on light volume of 11,013,000 shares trading hands.

Motorola posted a small gain of 4 cents (0.28%), one of few gains in recent weeks, to close at 14.16, on light volume of 10,536,400 shares trading hands.

Earthlink climbed higher to close at 11, a gain of 1/4 (+2.33%), on volume of 2,753,100 shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 15.60, a gain of 9 cents (+0.58%), on light volume of 1,768,700 shares trading hands.

Dell closed at 24 11/16, up 1/4 (+1.02%), on light volume of 33,993,500 shares trading hands.

Hewlett Packard closed at 29.23, up 0.08 (-0.27%), on light volume of 5,839,200 shares trading hands.

Intel closed 25 9/16, a gain of 15/16 (+3.81%), on strong volume of 68,755,296 shares trading hands.

Microsoft lost almost 5% to close at 50 1/16, down 2 5/8 (-4.98%), on heavy volume of 62,521,200 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.