Stocks End Mixed, Apple Drops 5.6%

It was a mixed day on Wall Street. Tech stocks headed downward, lead by Sun and EMC, after Goldman Sachs issued negative comments about both of those companies. Goldman Sachs cut its earnings estimates for the companies and that set up a negative sentiment amongst traders. That, in turn helped set up some profit taking from recent gains. From a Reuters report.

"I would love to have a recovery in hand, but I donit think itis in hand yet," said Tom Sparico, managing director of equities at broker/dealer Bengal Partners. "Itis just too soon. We have to digest this slowdown process first and, ultimately, it will lay the groundwork for a very robust recovery."

"Investors use the opportunity of an analyst downgrade" to dump shares, said Ned Riley, chief investment strategist for State Street Global Advisors, which oversees $40 billion. "Thereis a fear that preannouncements may bring even more negativism and a less-than-positive outlook for the shorter term."

A higher than expected Consumer Confidence Report for May didnit seem to help, at least not tech stocks. The Dow fared a bit better, ending above 11000 for the 9th trading session in a row. Volume for both the Dow and the Nasdaq was a bit higher than last Fridayis, but still weaker than the average. The Dow traded more than a billion shares, and the Nasdaq topped 1.6 billion shares.

For those interested in what multi-billionaire Bill Gates has to say, Upside Today has an "insideris report" on last weekis CEO Summit.

Heis extremely optimistic about: the future of b-to-b services over the Internet (except for b-to-b exchanges), continued progress on office productivity, and XML. He thinks mobile commerce is highly overrated. Investing in, and making money on, an intellectual property business (like software) is risky, but ultimately itis a great business.

Consumer markets about to be transformed by computers and the Internet in a big way (read: where Microsoftis chief software architect is putting his money): movies and photography. Business markets about to be transformed: business meetings (video conferencing), demand forecasting and business planning. His conclusion: "Itis going to be a very amazing decade." The coming decade, he says, is "the big one." (Read: Buy Microsoft stock now.)

Yeah, now where did we put our check book? Seriously though, with the wolves starting to circle Redmond, that advice (to buy MS stock) may be a few years too late. Weill see; itis certainly a fact that Mr. Gates has been right on the money and in charge for the better part of two decades, and itis a fact that he has made a tad more money for himself and his investors that this editor.

Speaking of losing stocks, Real Networks took a hit today because of talks between AOL Time Warner and Microsoft. Those talks could see AOL using some Internet streaming technologies of Microsoftis, despite the supposed partnership that exists between Real and AOL. Reuters has the full story. This is all happening even as Microsoft tries to take advantage of AOLis price hike by offering a special offer to AOL members only. Many had looked for AOLis price hike to be followed by other price hikes from Earthlink and MSN, but it looks like we might have a price war instead. Microsoft, AOL, and Earthlink all moved lower today.

In other online music news, Napster is looking to move the battle for online music rights to the world of publishers, a move which could possibly allow them to circumvent recording labels. This is an interesting development that could totally change the nature of the MP3 battle.

There was very little news about AAPL today. ZDNet offered a nice look at some of the major apps that are coming to Mac OS X out of the WWDC. It makes for a nice plug for Apple. Other than that, all was quiet on the Cupertino front. Despite this, the stock moved lower in comparatively heavy volume. AAPL opened lower, moved a bit lower, and then stayed in a very narrow trading range for the rest of the day. Volume topped 9 million shares, and the dayis range was 20.81 - 22.50. We have two new threads in the Apple Finance Boards, one on Appleis Asian market share, and one on the possible impact of the enterprise market on the company.

Apple closed at 21.47, a loss of 1.29 (-5.67%), on strong volume of 9,214,200 shares trading hands.

The Nasdaq closed at 2175.54, a loss of 75.49 (-3.35%), on volume of 1,621,855,000 shares trading hands.

The Dow closed at 11039.14, up 33.77 (+0.31%), on volume of 1,012,447,000 shares trading hands.

The S&P 500 closed at 1267.93, a loss of 9.96 (-0.78%).

Adobe shipped Acrobat for the Palm OS today. The Street didnit bat an eye as ADBE moved lower to close at 41.68, down 3.02 (-6.76%), on light volume of 2,788,200 shares trading hands.

Akamai has scored some major deals with the US government to provide hosting and infrastructure services for several agencies. AKAM closed at 11.13, up 0.18 (+1.64%), on heavy volume of 5,739,200 shares trading hands. Apple is a large shareholder of Akamai.

Earthlink closed at 12.91, a loss of 0.54 (-4.01%), on light volume of 1,437,400 shares trading hands.

IBM has launched yet another Linux effort, this time with three Japanese companies. IBM closed at 115.27, down 2.53 (-2.15%), on light volume of 5,818,000 shares trading hands.

Macromediais closed at 23.30, a loss of 1.34 (-5.44%), on light volume of 763,900 shares trading hands.

Motorola was hammered by a debt rating cut from Moodyis. MOT closed at 15.00, down 0.71 (-4.52%), on light volume of 8,340,400 shares trading hands.

Dell closed at 25.65, a loss of 1.35 (-5.00%), on light volume of 30,194,000 shares trading hands.

Gateway closed at 17.47, down 0.96 (-5.21%), on light volume of 1,370,600 shares trading hands.

Intel has gained a number of supporters for their new Itanium processor. INTC closed at 27.85, a loss of 1.25 (-4.30%), on light volume of 37,800,000 shares trading hands.

Microsoft is trying to snake AOLis customers in the wake of a price hike by AOL. MSFT closed at 70.34, a loss of 0.57 (-0.80%), on light volume of 35,606,200 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.